A magical and educational journey to the rich diverse lands of Asia, featuring traditional and modern children's songs!
Asian Playground is a collection that celebrates the incredible diversity of the expansive continent of Asia. Featuring 11 artists from nine countries, this collection of children’s music mixes traditional sounds and instruments with modern styles. From Korean and Indian traditional music to Japanese reggae and Korean pop, Asian Playround shines a light on the international trend toward the fusion of different international music styles. It also offers fun, educational information about these rich cultures that will hopefully inspire young minds to learn more about the fascinating continent of Asia.
The journey begins in China, where Toni Wang of A Little Mandarin shares a traditional Chinese folk song of her childhood sung in the Mandarin language that offers an unusual suggestion of what to do with a penny found on the ground. It’s followed by The Shanghai Restoration Project, who like to take traditional Chinese music and give it a modern sound by adding electronica, pop, hip hop and other modern styles.
Next we travel to The Philippines with Bayang Barrios who combines music made with traditional instruments and native languages with reggae and other modern influences. Her song “Naghahari” offers the positive message that everyone has the power to make changes in their lives. The band, Marsada, from Samosir, an island in Indonesia, shares a song from their ethnic group, Toba-Batak, which is known for their musical talents.
Elena Moon Park grew up in Tennessee but studied traditional music of her Korean roots. Here she sings “Sol Nal” (New Year) which describes the many celebrations that happen around Korean New Year and features the sound of the piri, a Korean wind instrument made of bamboo. Mi-I grew up in Japan but was such a big fan of reggae music he decided to move to the home of reggae, Jamaica. His song,“Tobiuo,” is a reggae version of a haiku (short poem) he wrote about a flying fish.
We continue on to Malaysia, where Amirah Ali, whose music is inspired by the rich and diverse traditions of her native land, sings “Joget Lebaran.” It’s based on the joget, a form of lively dance music with a repeated rhythm that is traditionally used in village celebrations. Sumet Ong-art of Thailand is known for his signature whistle, which you’ll hear, along with the ukulele, on his rendition of the popular Thai song “Our Sea”.
Puspa Dewi, another Indonesian artist, is a dancer and singer from Bali, an island famous for its music, dance and traditional arts. “Pul Sinoge”is a cheerful Balinese folk song that strings together names of various fruits and vegetables grandmothers often use to prepare meals.
While there are many different types of music in Sri Lanka, such as ancient folk songs, Buddhist chants and ritual drumming, the music of Anura Jayasingha & The Balladeers reflects the influence of the Portuguese fisherman and other early Sri Lanka settlers. Finally, the journey ends with one of India’s favorite music and TV stars, Kailash Kher, whose unique and powerful voice is heard on his song, “Mumma,” about his beloved mother.
Asian Playground is a fun and educational journey to the magical countries of Asia that will lift the spirit of both children and adults and encourage cultural exploration of this unique continent.