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New song penned for New Zealand Chinese Language Week

20 Sep 2023

The healing powers of music is the theme of the song dedicated to New Zealand Chinese Language Week this year. “Driftwood” by 22 year-old Auckland-based musician Erin Geraghty, who performs as Erin G!, was launched in Wellington last night.

Written by

A Big idea contributor
Feb 28, 2024

The song is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Erin told attendees at the launch event that she had written the song when she was 16, but put it to one side.

“I had always wanted to record and release this song, but there never seemed to be the right occasion to do so. It was still too precious and personal to me. But as Chinese Language Week has come up for 2023, as fate would have it, 'Driftwood' would finally have its moment,” she said.

“What makes it even more special is that I am singing in Mandarin, which I have never done before.”

Erin said she first wrote the song when she was 16 and first started being aware of my feelings of stress and anxiety.

“Reviving the song now, and having had a self reflecting journey since that point, this song’s original meaning to me has completely transformed for me now. This song still pays homage to my feelings of anxiety, but having found my own coping mechanisms and more confidence, and stability in myself and my identity, this new version reflects the human journey.

“It encapsulates my belief that life has its ups and downs, much like the ebb and flow of waves. I've become like driftwood, moving with the water, not trying to fight the current. There are hints of peace, tranquility, and happiness, but also a balance of stress, sadness, and anxiety.”
Erin said that as an artist, she had consistently strived to incorporate her culture, whether through artwork or appearance.

“This time, with the assistance of Tom Broome, Chip Matthews, and Brett Adams, we managed to subtly mimic traditional Chinese instruments on a guitar throughout the song.

“This song has undergone numerous iterations over time, and I believe that the narrative of how the ocean connects us all was exceptionally fitting for this year's theme of 'culture through community.' This theme aligns perfectly with what this song represents, spanning from themes of turmoil and uncertainty to feelings of celebration and joy. It's a perfect fit as it mirrors the journey of everything in my life.”



For more information, contact: Cathie Bell, NZCLW Project Management team, 027 4998467 


What is the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust?

The NZCLW Trust is a Charitable Trust established to encourage Chinese language learning.
The Board comprises respected academics, former diplomats, and others with an interest in the NZ China relationship. The activities of the Trust are funded by sponsorship and grants from both the New Zealand and Chinese Governments, businesses, and other organisations. 

The Trust readily acknowledges that there are many Chinese languages and welcomes participation in New Zealand Chinese Language Week in any Chinese language or dialect.

The primary focus of NZ Chinese Language Week is on Mandarin language learning, as Mandarin is the most widely spoken Chinese language in the world, including in New Zealand; the national language of China; the official language of Taiwan; the national language of Singapore; and the language taught in schools and universities – in New Zealand and internationally.