Kaumaakonga reaches #1

Congratulations to our friends Kaumaakonga as they have reached number #1 on the Pacific Top 20 with their new album TAOBA. https://www.top20pacifique.com/

Kaumaakonga

KMK breathe new life into their Traditional Avaiki chants while combining traditional rhythms and percussion with panpipes, guitar and unique vocal harmonies. They rework and perform the chants and stories of their Polynesian forefathers, many which were previously forbidden and at risk of disappearing completely due to the effects of colonization and religion reaching the shores of these small islands.

We met Kaumaakonga in the Solomon Islands and made field recordings of two songs at the Botanical Gardens in Honiara. listen here;

Kaumaakonga – Tongo Pupua (Field Recording)

Watch Kaumaakonga perform the song ‘Ngibao’;

Swing with the Strings on SIBC

See the Silianifuto String Band perform, “Kadamanga Ba Goro Hafali Ruana”

I first heard Swing With the Strings live broadcast on SIBC radio in Honiara while in a taxi heading home for the night.. I loved it so much I recorded what I heard through the radio!(listen below)

Jack and Anna sing on SIBC (recorded off the radio)

The next morning I visited the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Company to learn more. There I met Roland Koofuli, the host of the live weekly broadcast of ‘Swing with the Strings’. He informed me the lovely music I had heard was of Jack and Anna, two local musicians who came together that night for a rare performance. He kindly arranged for Anna Ramoni and a group, ‘Silianifuto String Band’ to play the next live ‘Swing to the Strings’ so that we could meet her..

Although originally from northern Malaita, Anna is active with several of the local string bands who also now live in Guadalcanal, but heard here is her Kai Kai String Band. As an extra bonus I was able to record this group on my last day in the Solomons. Kai means food in her native language and her band was started with fellow employees of the Department of Agriculture in Honiara.

Kai Kai String Band – Ko Visu Mai

“The Creed (We Believe)” – Melanesian Brotherhood

We were warmly welcomed to stay overnight at the Melanesian Brotherhood in Tabalia, West Guadalcanal, to be sure to be ready to capture the early Sunday morning Mass. Novices spend three years before graduating to Brothers and as part of their daily cycles, rehearse these songs. Hear the Brotherhood singing, “The Creed (We Believe)