Canadian musician Matthew Lien is to perform songs from his new album, The Romantic Route 3 — Hakka Music Map of Matthew Lien (浪漫臺三線 — 馬修連恩的客家音樂地圖), at a concert in Miaoli County on Saturday.
Romantic Route 3 refers to a government initiative aimed at promoting and reviving Hakka culture along Provincial Highway No. 3.
The artist residencies that are part of the initiative seek to bring out traditional Hakka culture from a new perspective, Hakka Affairs Council Minister Lee Yung-de (李永得) told a news conference in Taipei.
The album, which is to be released on Thursday next week, was created during Lien’s residency there, Lee said.
Lien collaborated with several Hakka-language artists for the album, including Golden Melody Award-winning Emily Guan (官靈芝), Yachun Asta Tzeng (曾雅君), Misa (米莎), Huang Zi-xuan (黃子軒) and Lai Ren-jen (賴仁政), the council said in a statement.
One of the songs, Revolving Doors (旋轉之門), also features vocals by Lee, it said.
The song’s lyrics were written by Lien and 17-year-old Hakka hip-hop artist Yappy, it said.
Hakka artist Flyflyfly (飛飛飛) designed the cover for the two-CD album, it added.
“Using an avant-garde and bold design, [Flyflyfly] turns each musician into a mountain,” the council said.
“The children of [Provincial Highway No. 3] are the children of the mountains,” Flyflyfly said.
The highway is “like a paradise of culture,” Lien said.
“For a musician, it is like a buffet. A buffet for the soul,” he said.
“Through culture, we can understand a place’s people, a place’s history ... and music is the voice of the culture,” he said.
“Many new musicians are also creating their own music, so it’s always changing,” Lien said.
Revolving Doors represents this quality, he added. “The older generation and the younger generation: it’s always turning, it’s always changing.”
“When you listen to the album, at the end of Revolving Doors there is the sound of a train, because it’s going on and on, to the next station,” he added.
The concert, which is to start at 6pm at the Northern Miaoli Art Center, is to include an autograph-signing session, the council said.
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