When Suana Emuy Cilangasay came to perform in Canada in 2019, he was deeply moved by the similarities between the histories of Indigenous peoples in Taiwan and Canada, particularly their rapidly disappearing cultures and languages. Since then, his musical journey has taken on a mission to inspire other young Indigenous musicians to join him to show the world, through music, what it means to be Indigenous.
The four members of Kanatal grew up in the city with little exposure to their Indigenous heritage. They are rediscovering their roots and connecting with the world through music, language and story.
Kanatal means “island” in the Amis language; for the band, it refers to the island of Taiwan they call home. From self-identity to ethnic integrity, music allows them to break through language, race and geography constraints. The concept of Kanatal is not just limited to the island: it encompasses all human beings.
Kanatal is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan Academy and the Council of Indigenous Peoples.
About Suana Emuy Cilangasay
A musician of mixed Amis and Sakilayan heritage, Suana Emuy Cilangasay holds a variety of identities as producer, singer-songwriter, orchestra music director, stage director and radio show host. He did not learn of his Indigenous identity until he returned to Eastern Taiwan with his mother in his youth. Learning ethnic language and tribal culture with his grandmother, mother and godmother, he uses Amis language as the core of creation. He combines traditional melodies, western instrumental music and various music styles to compose rhythms reflecting the contemporary Indigenous peoples and urban youth.
About Abus Tanapima
Abus Tanapima is of Bunun and Amis descent. She attended high school art school and once studied performing arts at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Proficient in the Amis and Bunun languages, Tanapima composes songs in both her mother tongues and is good at adapting traditional melodies into pop songs. She hopes that Indigenous culture no longer exists in history but can be passed down through the generations and be experienced and understood by more people so that this generation and future children can find their way home.
About Vaqacun Kalevuwan
Vaqacun Kalevuwan comes from the tribe where the Paiwan and the Amis coexist in Taitung. His father is Paiwan, and his mother is Amis. When he was young, he went to live in a big city in western Taiwan with his parents. Due to cultural differences and ignorance of each other’s ethnic groups, there were many conflicts, and he realized that he had a different identity from others. After working with many Aboriginal musicians, he realized that he did not know much about his own culture, so he began to look for rhythm instruments and traditional rhythms that belonged to his ethnic group.
About Masaw Ali
Masaw Ali is of Atayal ancestry but has lived in the city since birth. Having fallen in love with music at a young age, he began learning the guitar and singing with the dream of being able to play and sing on the stage. Ali is a music producer and co-produces a radio program alongside Suana Emuy Cilangasay. While collecting tribal stories and hearing tribal people speak of their past life in Indigenous languages, he learned more about his roots and heritage.
Dates & Times
235 Queens Quay W.
Toronto, ON, M5J 2G8