Over the last 5 years songwriter Iain Campbell Smith has spent time away from the Australian festival circuit living and working in the war ravaged islands of the South Pacific.
Sent to the islands by the Australian Foreign Ministry, he learned pidgin dialect and began writing songs, in both English and pidgin, from the stories of the people he worked with as they struggled to build trust and peace after a bitter war.
He became a celebrity on Bougainville Island collaborating with local musicians to release 20,000 copies of a "Songs of Peace" cassette, and hosting a weekly program on the islandês only radio station.
The Bagarap Empires CD reflects his experiences working in Pacific island conflict zones. The album won the Screensound Australia National Folk Recording Award and was rated among the top 5 albums of the year by ABC Radio's Paul Petran.
Smith is a regular at major Australian festivals including the National, Woodford, and Blue Mountains. He has led workshops on "Songs of Peace" during which he often has attendees singing along in Papua New Guinea pidgin!
In concert he performs songs ranging from wry comic dirges to tender ballads of loss and survival reflecting personal stories from life in a conflict zone. He presents with a gentle humour and a unique gift for illuminating worlds both familiar and unfamiliar to the audience. Iain has recently relocated to the USA and will be touring this coming spring and summer to promote the Bagarap Empires album and the Bougainville Sky documentary