Still buzzing from our recent performance at Colours of Ostrava Festival in Czech Republic, it was an inspirational end to our 2nd EU tour. To be invited to such a huge mainstream festival, and there, amongst this massive diverse line-up - The Cure, Florence + The Machine headlining, plus playing the same stage as Xavier Rudd & Mogwai - were our voices from remote cultures of the Pacific and Indian oceans.
To see Alena Murang from a small village from the rainforest of Sarawak, Borneo with the song “Pemung Jae”, featuring the Pagang, which has less than 20 musicians left who play it, singing in the language of her rainforest, on a huge stage - such a powerful moment.
Or Piteyru Ukah from the Truku People of Taiwan, right at the end of our biggest song, “Uyas Gerakun”, standing at the edge of the stage, arms spread right out, proud and big in his culture, a culture which was almost lost.
Also featured on stage Yoyo Tuki (Rapa Nui - Easter Island), Kujah Sabeni (Betawi - New Caledonia), Jerome Kavanagh (Maori - Aotearoa), Sauljaljui (Paiwan - Taiwan), Sammy Samoela (Merina - Madagascar) & Charles Maimarosia (Are'Are - Solomon Islands)
This is really what a lot of this project has been about. What else can we do as artists - than produce and share music that has something meaningful to share.
We also joined two panels on 'Climate Action for World Music', sharing on the role songs play in shaping society, connecting us back to the land and how it is relevant to the climate crises now. It was moderated by Simon Broughton, Songlines magazine.
Before the Colours of Ostrava Festival, we also performed at the wonderful Rudolstadt Festival, the biggest folk festival in Germany. The most open and happiest crowds we've ever seen, we had people grabbing us on the street everyday, saying how much they loved the show and the messages. We treasure moments like these, danke! Ah and we also sold out all of our CDs on the first day...!
Touring for us means something else than just performing to audiences. There's a powerful connection when we come together, our shared heritage bounds us together on stage, and in our real lives.
At the end of the tour, we spoke to each of our artists on what this experience means to them and how it affects them personally — to perform, create, and spend time together on tour. You can watch it below.
Also have a listen to our 53 mins special podcast on Swiss Radio SRF Kultur by Stefan Franzen. Just in case you don't understand German.... The program begins with a short and critical look at the jubilee of Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe, then switching from the out-dated Eurocentric perspective to the culture of the Austronesian peoples, the seafarers of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the SIBS project. It also finishes with a touch of climate change's effects on the islands.