A refined warmth combined with resolute power can be heard in Tai Siao-Chun’s simple voice. Her work maintains the structure of traditional songs while shining with the musical language of the new generation. In her voice that is at times low, at times resounding, a strong sentiment gives off a bit of natural optimism.
“There are a lot of kids in the village who love to sing. After thinking for a long time about my reasons for going back, I wondered if I might do so through music, and I wondered if I could reacquaint myself with my village through music and interpretation.” As a result, she teamed up with young kids with musical dreams and founded the MAQATI Music Group (“maqati” means “to be able” in the Paiwan tribe language). During a music festival held every year on the third day of the Lunar New Year, a stage set up by the MAQATI Music Group allows people from ages 5 to 80 to perform, bringing the village together as one.
At the 2011 Taiwan Music Composition and Songwriting Contest (Indigenous Language Category), Tai Siao-Chun surprised all by winning with her song “Musical Rite of Passage”, which is about the story of Maqudi. So as to not allow the ensuing burst of fame to drown out her true self, she decided to go to Australia for a working holiday. During a year of wandering there and doing street performances, she thought about the meaning of music and the essence of musical creation, all the while missing the people and things of her hometown. After Typhoon Morakot hit Taiwan, she wrote “Lament of Colored Cloth”, which again won her first prize at the 2014 Taiwan Music Composition and Songwriting Contest.
“Finding a path home through music.” Tai Siao-Chun is still walking a beautiful road.