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'Sound of Christmas from Asia Pacific': Celebrating multicultural Australia

'Sound of Christmas from Asia Pacific' features eight popular Christmas songs in different languages. Source: Supplied by Kevin Bathman

Aiming to celebrate Australia's diverse communities, the 'Sound of Christmas from Asia Pacific' album was produced. And for the first time, people will be able to hear some of the popular Christmas songs sung in various languages.

Dubbed as Sydney’s first multilingual and intercultural Christmas song album, this musical project aims to bring joy to people this Christmas especially to those who are marginalised or away from their loved ones and communities.

"Through this Christmas album, we want to reach out to those people who are feeling lonely and we wanted to get a range of diversity to re-sing some Christmas classic songs in their language," says Kevin Bathman, co-producer of Sound of Christmas from Asia Pacific.

 

 


Highlights

  • Produced during the hard lockdowns in Sydney in June, Sound of Christmas from Asia Pacific features eight popular Christmas songs.
  • These songs were sang in Filipino, Fijian, Indonesian, Japanese, Mandarin, Samoan, Tamil and Tongan
  • With the support of the City of Sydney, co-producers Kevin Bathman and Benjamin Oh created this 'intercultural album'.

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'Sound of Christmas from Asia Pacific': Ipinagdiriwang ang iba't ibang kultura ng Australia
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'Sound of Christmas from Asia Pacific'

For the first time, a Christmas album will feature eight popular Christmas songs sang in different languages.

The songs 'O Holy Night' is sang in Samoan, 'What Child is This' is in Filipino; 'O Come All Ye Faithful in Fijian, 'It came upon the midnight clear' in Indonesian, the popular 'Silent Night' in Tamil, 'Hark! The herald the angels sing' in Japanese, 'The first Noel' in Tongan and 'Auld lang syne' in Mandarin.

Sound of Christmas
(Top, L-R) Jinky Marsh sings 'Anong Bata Ito' ('What Child is This' in Filipino); Ruci Tuiwai ('O Come All Ye Faithful in Fijian); Peter Lazaro ('It Came Upon The Midnight Clear' in Indonesian); Kumi Matsuda ('Hark! The Herald The Angels Sing' in Japanese); (bottom, L-R) Cynthia Su ('Auld Lang Syne' in Mandarin); Kiarateuilla Lattimore ('O Holy Night' in Samoan; Radhika Sukumar ('Silent Night' in Tamil); Loma Schaaf ('The First Noel' in Tongan).
Sound of Christmas from Asia Pacific

 

"The reason why we call this as an intercultural album because everyone in the team – from the vocalist, to the musicians, sound engineer, illustrator and even the producers were from various cultural background as well," adds Kevin.

Sound of Christmas from Asia Pacific
Album cover illustrator Freda Chiu (centre) and musicians, Jeremy Koay (left) and Grace Song (right).
Supplied by Kevin Bathman

Meaningful Christmas

‘Sound of Christmas from Asia Pacific’ was produced with the support of the City of Sydney and was created during the hard lockdowns in Sydney in June.

“When Benjamin Oh and I, who’s also the co-producer for this album, were having a chat about six months about we spoke about how there’s  a lack of multilingual projects. So we put in an grant application to the City of Sydney’s Matching Grant program,” shares co-producer Kevin Bathman.

"We feel that Christmas has now really taken a religious but also secular event end-of- the-year celebration and I think many people actually use this time to reflect and also celebrate their loved-ones and their community."

"Christmas can also be quite a difficult and lonely time for many people especially if they are marginalised or they are separated from their loved ones or community."

Sound of Christmas from Asia Pacific
Producers Kevin Bathman (left) and Benjamin Oh: 'We feel that Christmas has now really taken a religious but also circular event end-of- the-year celebration and I think many people actually use this time to reflect and also celebrate their loved-ones and their community.'
Supplied by Kevin Bathman

“We decided to pursue this musical project and release it closer to Christmas. But lockdowns happened from June to October. We feel that this project has a lot of challenges in a sense that we were recording the music and engaging with everyone while everyone was at home and in lockdown.”

The City of Sydney’s Matching Grant program empowers organisations and communities in Sydney to implement projects that aim to strengthen relationships within the community.

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