The nominees for the 30th Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music (傳藝金曲獎) were revealed on June 20, along with the winners of this year's Special Awards. The organizers saw a total of 102 entrants, with 71 in the publishing category and 31 in the theatrical performance category. A total of 1,078 pieces were entered, representing an increase of 184 on last year.
Among the entrants in the publishing category, the Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir's (台北愛樂室內合唱團) album "Image Taiwan II (印象臺灣II)" made a particularly strong showing, earning nods for Best Art Music Album, Best Record, Best Lyrics, Best Composition, Best Performance, and Best Producer. Two albums published by Bel Canto Musicale (貝岡朵音樂藝術) also performed strongly, collecting six nominations between them.
On the theatrical side, Tang Mei-Yun Taiwanese Opera Company (唐美雲歌仔戲團) received the most nominations for both group and piece for their annual showcase "The Cursed Royal Family (夜未央)," altogether receiving affirmation for Best Script, Best Music Design, Best Actor, and Best Ensemble Performance.
The most intense battle was for the Best Performance award in the publishing category; a whopping 194 entrants vied for the nominations, with just five chosen — a nomination rate of only 2.5%.
After splitting off from the main Golden Melody Awards in 2014, the Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music added the theatrical performance category under the supervision of the National Center for Traditional Arts. To provide more encouragement to those who work behind the scenes, two new awards were added this year, namely "Best Script" and "Best Music Design," attracting some 58 entrants.
In addition to the nominations, the June 20 ceremony also named the recipients of the Special Awards — Yeh Chwei-ching (葉垂青) and Wang An-chi (王安祈) — who were recognized for their contributions to and achievements in the fields of traditional and artistic audio publishing and theatrical performing arts, respectively.
Yeh has been one of Taiwan's most important, most experienced figures in sound engineering and record-pressing since the 1970s. From 1977 through the late 1990s, he was involved in the production of over 20,000 albums, and in the late 1980s, he was a pioneer in Taiwan’s use of PCM technology in CD mastering, planting the seeds of a booming Taiwanese record industry and becoming one of the most outstanding contributors to the post-war recording of the sounds of Taiwan.
Wang, meanwhile, is a scholar, educator, critic, and playwright who is known for engaging lectures, insightful critiques, and a fresh approach to theatrical scriptwriting. With her deep understanding of the essence of traditional theater, Wang has been able to combine classical forms and modern thinking, simultaneously getting back to the origins of the art while continuing to innovate.
Through this, Wang has become one of the most important promoters of modernization in Taiwanese theater. Her writings employ a rich diversity of narrative techniques and a penetrating insight into the human condition, carving out a new future for Peking opera and Kun opera and developing a fusion set of "new Taiwanese Peking/Kun opera aesthetics" with profound and far-reaching impact on theater in Taiwan.
Chen Chi-ming (陳濟民), director of the National Center for Traditional Arts, noted that many people take a stereotypical view of the traditional Golden Melody Awards as being about "non-mainstream" music, but the reality of musical creation is the use of sound to capture and express feelings and ideas about life, the land, and the world in which we live, he added.
Everyone should be proud that Taiwan's diverse traditions are always in step with the times, that their being "non-mainstream" also means they will never fall out of fashion. This year's 1,078 entrants for the awards are a testimony to the wealth of creativity that is not only continuing to thrive in the traditional arts, but also coming together to create a formidable force of its own, concluded Director Chen.
The 30th Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music ceremony will be held on Aug. 10 at the Taiwan Traditional Theatre Center and streamed live on Facebook. The full list of nominees is available here.