Lost links & Re-ups

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Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

06 September 2013

Vanuatu





Vanuatu is a group of islands in the South Pacific that became an independent republic in 1980. Through most of the 20th Century, the islands were jointly controlled by France & England. One of the most popular types of music on Vanuatu is the String Bands. Many of the String Bands come from the island of Espiritu Santo, a large mountainous island in the north of Vanuatu, but every island & every village has their local bands.

The String Band sound is based on Polynesian music. It came to Vanuatu towards the end of World War II. The musicians play string instruments (guitars, ukuleles, one-string bass) & percussion (drums or tambourine). The songs are sung by a single person or by the whole band in chorus.


In the 1960s, the songs mainly criticized the occupation by the colonial powers, in the 1970s they followed the uprising against these powers, & in 1980 they celebrated independence. Today, the compositions of the String Bands may recall a national, local or personal event. A song may deal with the development of tourism or with economic problems in rural areas; it may denounce the ubiquitous influence of Australia or the compliance of local politics; it may have been written for a wedding or in the wake of some natural disaster. But these songs also preserve the memory of an extraordinarily pretty girl, a successful hunting party, or the end of a relationship.

These songs have a “historical storage function,” allowing an event to be kept alive & passed on from generation to generation. Everyone knows these songs. They are sung in Bislama (the everyday language of Vanuatu), English, French or one of the regional languages. The songs are one of the archipelago’s cultural treasures, often passed on from village to village, & from island to island.

Featured here are some songs from one of the myriad String Bands throughout the islands, The Jipajiroa String Band. They are one of the most popular String Bands of Vanuatu. Included is their #1 hit song “AMA College”.

decryption code in comments

Tracklist –

Cascade
Merelyne
Beautiful Village
Fenua Tamanu Paku
Ji Manaturaga
Epapawa
AMA College


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 What I found out about Naio. They are a long-standing reggae band from Vanuatu.


Naio – Unity, CHM Supersound, 1999.
decryption code in comments

Tracklist –

Naio
Mr. Music Man
Nasuman
Jalusi
Bouganville
Unity
Tanna International  
King of Kings
Aelan Blong Mi
Home Town
Iafu
Nengo

Enjoy,

6 comments:

  1. Jipajiroa
    RmG1iTXpUOk1MA9mH4i8m1gLsG4Uwn0FOjmVikF7I5c
    Naio
    VyG45xAY8j8pSA0fIdoCwUhUFEAPVVM6ZzpTfhi6JUA

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  2. This project is blowing my mind pretty often! Kudos for being good at this... and committing to and following through on a seemingly impossible thesis. Have you come across any recordings of Vanuatu slit gong music that may be sharable?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words. As for the slit gong music, I don't have access to any at this time. I know the slit gong drums are some of the largest freestanding drums in the world, made from hollowed out breadfruit trees. The music is awesome, but I don't know how much of it makes it to recording. Maybe someone who visits here will see clear to grace us with some.

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  3. jThis project is blowing my mind pretty often! Kudos for being good at this...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind comments. Hope you find more music to bless your days & nights.
      Guidance.

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