Has music always played an important role in your life?
What made you to join Lőke?
So everything started with the passport?
You have already written a couple of songs in Estonian. Why did you decide to write in Estonian?
Through Lőke I have become exposed to Estonian songs more directly, modern and folk songs, and regilaul. I started to do some arrangements for the songs. Through that experience I saw that I could take it to the next level and write songs from scratch. So I gave it a go. I had help from Siiri Iisimaa from Lőke to make sure that I was exploring and expressing the ideas correctly as I am not a native Estonian speaker nor very proficient. I had a go and have written a couple of songs.
Your dad is Estonian? Tell us more about your Estonian roots.
Paul Kadak: Actually my grandparents were Estonians on dad's side and came to Australia in 1949. My earliest Estonian memories were when we visited my granny. I never met my grandfather. When she, my dad and his sisters were talking in the kitchen they spoke Estonian and as children, we thought they were speaking some secret adult's language so children couldn't understand. It was Estonian. Without realising it, that was my first exposure to the Estonian language and culture.
Did they also teach you this secret adult language?
When did you visit Estonia first time?
This summer you were back again for Laulupidu (National Song Festival). What was your experience with that?
Now that I have been there twice, it's like a big family reunion. Especially at the end when everyone in the choir has but one thought. We do not want this feeling to end. We want to sing another song and we do not want this experience to end. We got the same feeling from the audience. It's such a unique experience that I will never forget it.
Can you experience something similar here in Australia?
Australians are fortunate to have summer weather all through the year. We are blessed with a lot of happy times. Obviously as a country we have our struggles but we are very lucky in what we have. We have internal optimism. We are decent bunch of people. When we come together often it is for sport. The closest experience to something like Laulupidu was when I was here for Sydney for the 2000 Olympics. I just remember leaving the stadium one night and people were everywhere in Sydney Olympic Park, skipping around with flags and singing the national anthem. The feeling in the air showed how happy and proud everyone was. It was a great moment for the country and everybody felt it.
Again, it comes from having great weather and sport being such a big thing in our lives. It's different from the Estonian experience. Some Estonian songs can be little dark but it's living with the weather. Songs speak so beautifully of what people have gone through. Singing tells the story in such a beautiful way.
Where does your inspiration of writing songs come from?
In terms of the songs I have written I have been inspired by the Estonian community here in Sydney and the things the Estonian community has done, the gatherings here, the special occasions. The community has been here for many years, preserving the culture. It's all worth writing a song about.
How did your family celebrate Christmas? Did you have any Estonian traditions?
|Paul Kadak - connecting with his heritage through music While most Australians know Paul Kadak as a Channel 7 journalist the Estonian community knows him as an accomplished pianist and songwriter. At the Estonian Days in Melbourne a wider audience will have a chance to hear more of his songs.|