Jane's Pacific Islands Radio Newsletter (Island Music)
Vol. 7, Edition Nos.21 & 22, September/October 2007
I N T H I S I S S U E ____________________________
News and Views
Pacific Islands Radio
Island Music Suppliers
It's Time To Chat!
T H E V I E W _____________________________________
Pacific Islands Radio (Island Music) News and Views
Welcome everybody to our Newsletter
for September/October 2007! I must
say that it is just great to be back in
touch with everybody after such a long time
since our last Newsletter. As always, please
let me take this wonderful opportunity to
very sincerely wish everybody good health,
prosperity, happiness, peace and harmony.
Once again, please join me in extending
a very warm and sincere Pacific Island
welcome to the terrific number of new
members who have joined us since our
last Newsletter! Words cannot express
my deepest appreciation and gratitude
for your most welcome and kind support.
I would most sincerely like to welcome
you on board! Please make yourselves
feel at home, relax and enjoy the music!
May you also find your stay and time
with us to be enjoyable, mutually
beneficial and most rewarding!
This Newsletter is a listening guide to
the many wonderful listeners of our
Internet Pacific Islands Radio Stations.
In addition, the Newsletter will focus on
issues relating to Pacific Island music. It
also embraces some of the exciting changes
taking place in the Internet Radio Revolution,
as well as updated information on our Pacific
Island Artists, Programming and Playlists.
NEWS AND VIEWS
In this edition of our Pacific Islands Radio
Newsletter, it is my great pleasure to able to
talk a little further about the incredible music
of West Papua (formally Irian Jaya) and, in
particular the music of Black Paradise, as
well as the music from Biak, one quite small
yet very beautiful island off the coast of West
Ignored for centuries, the Melanesian island
of New Guinea (now West Papua - formerly
Irian Jaya - and Papua New Guinea) was like
a lost world, where stone age tribes once
practised cannibalism and where plant life is
found like nothing else on earth. It is a very
old civilisation with carbon dating of remnants
found on camp sites suggesting human
habitation for at least the last 40,000 years.
Indeed, West Papua is a land like no other.
Located on the western rim of the Pacific,
bordering independent Papua New Guinea,
West Papua is merely swimming and walking
distance from Boigu and Saibai islands, the
northern extent of Australia's boundary. It is
a wild and rugged country. It is also a place
where it is possible to stand on the summit of
a 5000m peak, surrounded by ice and snow
and look down on alpine valleys across to an
endless expanse of tropical rainforests and
island studded equatorial waters glistening
in the sun far below. A land that is home to
ancient cultures, including the oldest,
continually cultivating society in existence
and around 300 distinct indigenous groups,
each with their own language.
The traditional music of West Papua has its
origins in the complex and beautiful culture of
the Melanesian people of West Papua. Indeed,
culture is the glue that binds together the local
spirit and identity of each and every indigenous
group in West Papua. However, the oral traditions
of West Papuans have come under considerable
pressure and changed form as a result of the
growing influence of Christianity, the encroachment
of global culture, as well as Indonesian military
Music driven by global influences and the growing
commercialisation of indigenous music has severed
West Papuans' connections with their traditions and
roots. This resulted in an urgent need for organised
efforts to find forms of traditional Papuan music
which can retain the values, colour and identity of
each of the different indigenous groups from which
the music is derived. In this way, music and songs
will continue to be the substance that binds
indigenous groups together, as well as enabling
freedom of expression.
My humble comments on the above News and
Views were recognised by West Papuan artists
such as Arnold Ap and Eddie Mofu who formed
the cultural music group, Mambesak, to revitalise
traditional West Papuan dance, music and song.
Mambesak provided a certain colour, form and
inspiration for the birth of music and dance
groups throughout Papua, actively promoting
and strengthening West Papuan identity.
However, Arnold Ap and Eddie Mofu's popularity
and the conscious pride in being Papuan, Mambesak's
music engendered, brought them to the attention of
the Indonesian military who accused them of being
separatists - consequently, sadly and finally they
Twenty years after the killing of Arnold Ap, music
is still a potent source of cultural resistance in
West Papua. Just before he was murdered by Kopassus,
Indonesia's notorious special forces, renowned
West Papuan musician and anthropologist, as well
as the leader of the cultural music group, Mambesak,
wrote his last song: 'The Mystery of Life'.
Sitting beside an old portable tape recorder
in his prison cell, guitar in hand, Ap lovingly
recorded: 'The Mystery of Life'. In the closing words
of the song, Ap sang: "The only thing I desire and am
waiting for, is nothing else but freedom". Like his
music and life, the moving words came from the heart,
and gave voice to a desire that was at once personal
and political and, in particular, to his situation,
but something shared by all his fellow West Papuans.
Then Ap wrapped the cassette up, stuffed it into an
envelope, with words of consolation, and sent it to
his wife who had fled to a refugee camp in Papua
New Guinea. Together, with fellow musician Eddie
Mofu, Arnold Ap was languishing in jail, suspected
by the Indonesian military of having sympathy with
the West Papuan resistance movement, the OPM.
West Papua had been occupied by the Indonesian
military since the early 1960s, and the movement
for self-determination had taken root deep in the
hearts of West Papuans. In a place where contested
identities have become a site of struggle; music,
song and dance became weapons. The real crime of Mofu
and Ap was singing and dancing the traditional songs
of their people, thus promoting pride in Papuan
Each song is infused with this pride in being West
Papuan. To see it, you almost need to get inside the
song itself. And to do that is to begin to understand
something of West Papua. Through song, culture was
uplifted, and people's lives dignified. Lyrics and
tunes celebrate the mystery and natural beauty of
West Papua, retell traditional legends, impart
knowledge and wisdom, lament, laugh, rage, speak about
the ordinariness of daily life, and the struggles and
joys of relationships. They function as the glue that
invokes soul, animates spirit, and reinforces identity
through the medium of oral traditions.
In West Papua, music is everywhere. In so many
ways, it represents the irrepressible desire for life.
Every evening, as the sun goes down and the jungle
erupts in a cacophony of insects backed up by a
syncopating base line of frogs; and every morning,
when the air is still, one can hear the sound of music.
Songs of struggle, haunting laments, musical delights
in the natural beauty of the land of their ancestors,
and sultry love songs puncture the tropical heat.
Ukulele, guitar, snakeskin drums, and the distinct
four-part soaring harmonies of the Melanesian
Pacific work their way inwards, shaping identity,
weaving stories, and strengthening the courage of
a people determined to be free.
One Mambesak song: "Awin Sup Ine", proudly
featured on our flagship station, Pacific Islands
Radio, and beautifully sung in the enchanting Biak
language, is translated as follows: "At twilight,
the rays of the sun paint beautiful skyscapes,
stirring the eye and heart...". At these times,
the lyrics continue: "... one cannot help but recall
sweet moments from the past and feel again the bonds
of love that bind one to the land".
Other songs sound clear warning bells, and
evoke strong emotions. Many songs also have
sophisticated double meanings. One such
featured song, "Nit Pughuluok En", crafted by
Dani songman and widely respected elder, Chief
Yafet Yelamaken, tells of the departure of a
friend: "Who knows when you will be coming back",
the song goes: "My only hope is to pray that we
shall meet again. Travel safely". However, the
friend, as Chief Yelamaken's daughter explains,
can also be read as the Indonesian Government,
who, it is hoped, will ultimately will leave West
Papua. Tragically, Chief Yelamaken died in a spate
of fatal poisonings that felled many West Papuan
cultural and civil society leaders. Although it
has never been proven, many West Papuans feel
certain it was a political assassination organised
by the Indonesian military.
MUSIC OF BIAK
This most interesting album features the music of
one small island, Biak, that lies just off the
northern coast of West Papua, Indonesia's easternmost
province. Biak has a long history of encounters with
outsiders from Europe and other parts of Indonesia -
a history that continues to unfold as Biak has become
one of the main ports of entry by air to Indonesia for
travelers from North America.
The album focuses on three genres: two contemporary
types of song are contrasted with the older wor, a genre
that is "in decline" but is still remembered by many. The
two newer genres, yospan and church songs, which have
largely replaced wor at celebrations, display considerable
Certainly, the three genres have contrasting sounds. Most
of the album is devoted to wor. Seventeen of the 72 tracks
exemplify this genre. Divided into dance, non-dance, and
narrative categories, they supply a richer representation
of this genre than most listeners will probably want or need.
Characterized by choral singing (almost exclusively male
on these tracks) and drumming, the differences between
one track and the next are not consequential for the
uninitiated ear. But the wealth of contextual information,
provided for these songs, enables one to appreciate
some of their significance.
The men form into two opposing choruses that compete
for attention - one group "beginning their verse before
the [other] singers are finished, and the [other] singers
retaliating to 'steal back' the song". Within each group,
singers also strive to stand out.
The four examples of church songs offer a stunning
contrast to the wor: sung in five part harmony by female
choirs, these performances are evidence of the deep
influence of Christianity and the long reach of European
missionary and colonial power. Sonically beautiful, these
tracks closely resemble Christian choral singing from
various areas of Africa and other parts of the world.
Yospan, represented by a medley of four songs in the
final track on this album, is a recent dance genre,
created from two other types of dance, one fast and
one slow. The fascinating history of this hybrid
involves government policy, imitations of Dutch
warplanes, and various other seemingly incongruent
On Biak, dance remains the centrepiece of celebrations.
It is accompanied by an ensemble of guitars, homemade
ukuleles and drums, and a giant bass guitar, the strings
of which are beaten with a stick. This is an amateur form
of expression that is open to all members of Biak society.
Indeed, wor and yospan are based on the same resilient
principles. In a conventional framework of words (wor)
or motions (yospan) both present the foreign as a startling
source of inspiration to be mobilized and circulated locally.
In addition, both genres embody the aesthetic of surprise.
Pacific Islands Radio is very pleased to be able to feature
on the playlist on our Flagship station, the incredible music
of Black Paradise, along with a selection of Music of Biak.
This latter selection (Music of Biak) includes two church
songs and two party hymns. The church songs and party
hymns represent the range of Christian themes addressed
in Biak hymns.
Congratulations must go to Vanessa Quai from
the Republic of Vanuatu on being awarded the
National Honorary Medals: 'Vanuatu National
Medal of Merit' and the 'Vanuatu Silver Jubilee
Medal'. The awards were for her role as an
ambassador for the Republic of Vanuatu,
including her work for charitable organisations,
hospitals, the churches, and much more.
It is perhaps most fitting that these important
awards should be presented on the occasion
of Vanessa achieving her First Musical Decade
(1997-2007). Vanessa turned 19 years of age
this year, last July 2007, and has celebrated
10 exciting and productive years of her music
career which started on the 17th September
1997 when she was only nine years of age.
During Vanessa's outstanding ten-year career,
she has won 5 International singing competitions
held in Australia, the Middle East and in Europe.
Indeed, her music has certainly impacted greatly
on thousands of young people in the Pacific
region and worldwide.
Our flagship, Pacific Islands Radio, has been
very proud to have featured, over the past few
years, the beautiful gospel and enchanting
traditional island music of Vanessa Quai. No
doubt, many of you, our loyal listeners, would
be very familiar with Vanessa's distinctive and
most compelling music.
On behalf of Pacific Islands Radio, we would
like to extend our warmest, loving and very
sincere Congratulations to Vanessa. We would
also like to wish her every happiness and
continued success with many blessings in the
You are all cordially invited to view a beautiful
photograph of Vanessa receiving her important
awards, as mentioned above, at the following
* * * * * * * * * *
SAVUSAVU SOUTH PACIFIC
MUSIC FESTIVAL 2007
The fourth Savusavu South Pacific Music Festival
will be held on the 22-25 November 2007. It will
feature musical and cultural events showcasing some
of the region's best musical and dance performers.
The culturally-rich music festival was created for
1) to celebrate and showcase the South Pacific
Islands music and other performing arts, featuring
Fiji as a central gathering place for the event;
2) to increase business to area resorts, local towns
and indigenous operators; and
3) to bring additional interest and awareness to the
Northern Islands and, in particular, to promote
Savusavu as a destination.
and the following:
OCEANIA MESSAGE FORUMS
I am very pleased to be able to say that,
in addition to our main Oceania Guest Book,
additional Forums have been introduced to
all Web sites of the main islands and islets
of the Pacific, as well as personalities,
along with our Pacific Islands Radio Web sites:
As you are no doubt aware, these Forums
have been most beneficial in bringing together
many people with an interest in and a love of
the beautiful and enchanting music of the
Pacific Islands. You are cordially invited to
share your valuable and important thoughts
and opinions with us all.
Recent additions also include the Web
sites for Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Republic
of Nauru, Republic of the Marshall
Islands, Tonga, Tokelau, Easter Island,
New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New
Guinea, Cook Islands and Pitcairn Island,
Niue, as well as our Oceania Postcards
and Picture Galleries - and many more!
2008 Pan-Pacific Festival
Matsuri in Hawaii - 6th-8th June 2008
Matsuri in Hawaii began in 1980 as a cultural
exchange between Japan and Hawaii. Matsuri
creators realized that the number of people
travelling from Japan to Hawaii was increasing
dramatically, and they wanted to ensure that the
increased interaction between these two cultures
would be both enjoyable and educational. Thus,
Pan-Pacific Festival/Matsuri in Hawaii was
In Hawaii, this special event is called The
Pan-Pacific Festival and in Japan they call
the event Matsuri in Hawaii. They envisioned
Matsuri as a means to enrich the lives of both
participating artists and guest audiences, while
providing Hawaii residents with a rewarding
and participatory exposure to traditional
Matsuri in Hawaii was originally intended as a
cultural bridge: visiting participants from Japan
would be able to enjoy the familiarity of Japanese
music, crafts, traditions, and foods, while Hawaii
residents and other visitors would gain a deeper
appreciation of Japanese sensibilities and cultural
By highlighting traditional folk music and age-old
arts and crafts and bringing internationally respected
performers to Hawaii, Matsuri has served Japan as
a sort of cultural goodwill ambassador, introducing
both Hawaii people and its many visitors to the
richness of Japanese culture. Still, the most popular
activities have been those that invited participation,
such as the street party, parade, bon dance and
The 10th Festival of Pacific Arts
20th July to 2nd August 2008
The idea of a Festival of Pacific Arts was
conceived by the Conference of the South
Pacific Commission (now the Pacific Community)
in an attempt to combat the erosion of traditional
customary practices. Since 1972, delegations from
27 Pacific Island Countries and Territories have
come together to share and exchange their cultures
at each Festival of Pacific Arts.
In 1977, at the 3rd meeting of the South Pacific
Festival Council (now the Council of Pacific Arts),
the Council determined that the Festival's major
theme should continue to be traditional song and
dance, and that participating countries and territories
should be free to include other activities depending
on the resources available to them.
The 27 participating Pacific Island Countries and
Territories include: American Samoa, Australia,
Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of
Micronesia, Fiji Islands, French Polynesia, Guam,
Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New
Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island,
Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New
Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands,
Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and
The festival exhibits include: Contemporary Arts,
Traditional Arts, Culinary Arts, Film-making,
Literary Arts, Natural history, Navigation and
Canoeing, Performing Arts, Symposiums,
Traditional Architecture, Traditional healing
Crafts, Traditional Skills and games and Visual
Pacifika Polynesian Festival Auckland, New
Zealand - 1st March 2008 - 31st March 2008
A feast for the senses, Pasifika Festival reproduces
the sensation of wandering among Pacific Island
villages, close to the heart of Auckland. In an
extensive park and lakeland site, musicians and
artists give an insight into the traditions of the
islands with performances such as Niuean dance,
Cook Island drums, Samoan Siva, Tongan war chants,
Fijian love songs and many more examples of Pacific
Island heritage. Over 200,000 people and hundreds
of performers attend this popular one day festival,
where the performances are spread over many
acres and cross the spectrum of film screenings,
poetry readings, opera, serious jazz and soul funk
Pasifika hosts over 350 stalls selling a variety
of products from fresh coconuts and tapa cloths
to hats, music and ice cream. As a warm-up to the
main event, an opening night music concert is
given on the Friday evening
MICRONESIA COMING EVENTS
3 Nov Independence
(Federated States of Micronesia) Day
8 Nov* Pohnpei Constitution Day
11 Nov Veterans of Foreign War Day
15 Nov* Kosrae State Fair
29 Nov Thanksgiving
(Kosrae and Chuuk)
24 Dec* Yap Constitution Day
* * * * * * * * * * * *
"Coming Events" outlines some of the
many events on our musical and dancing
calendar throughout the year hence the
inclusion in our monthly Pacific Islands
Radio Newsletter (Island Music).
As valued members of our Pacific Islands
Radio Newsletter, you are invited to share
any of your most welcome thoughts and
great ideas about Pacific Island musical
events/festivals, etc. that you feel should
be shared and enjoyed by all our members.
I humbly feel that our members would
greatly appreciate your kind gesture in
sharing this very useful information with us.
Thank you so much!
PACIFIC ISLANDS RADIO
I would like to mention, in response
to some of the e-mails and messages that
I have received, from those wonderful
people who would like to listen to our
beautiful Pacific Island music, but
unfortunately are unable to actually
listen to the music.
Basically, it is quite easy to access and
enjoy Pacific Islands Radio. Once you
have accessed the page, it is most
necessary to firstly log on, in order to
be able to listen to the music. The process
of being able to log on can be achieved
by providing your username and password
before clicking on the yellow 'Play' button
provided on the centre of the page.
Good Luck and Enjoy!
In addition, the many listeners who would
like to purchase the music played on our
Pacific Islands Radio Stations, in CD
format, can obtain details of recommended
suppliers by clicking on Artists' Profiles
on Pacific Islands Radio Home Page:
Pacific Islands Radio continues to offer a
range of broadcasting formats in order to
allow a wide range of listeners to enjoy
our beautiful island music.
Our Pacific Islands Radio Stations play the
enchanting music of the Pacific Islands 24
TWO FREE INTERNET RADIO STATIONS:
(See News and Views August/September 2006)
Pacific Islands Radio
VIP PREFERRED MEMBERS -
(See News and Views August/September 2006)
Pacific Music Radio (mp3PRO)
Micronesia Music Radio
PACIFIC ISLAND MUSIC SUPPLIERS
The following are some of the main specialist
suppliers of our music from the Pacific
Islands, which are now being used and are
highly recommended by Pacific Islands Radio.
KING MUSIC -
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Kingmusic offers a wide selection of Pacific
Island music which is available on the Internet.
Pacific Islands Radio would like to recommend
Islandmelody.com for a selection of traditional
and contemporary music with an emphasis on
BWANARAOI MUSIC SHOP -
TARAWA, REPUBLIC OF KIRIBATI
For Kiribati music, along with music from
other Pacific Islands and elsewhere, you
are invited to contact the following
Bwanaraoi Music Shop
Republic of Kiribati
Phone/Fax (686) 28236
HISTORICAL PERIODS IN PAPUA
NEW GUINEA MUSIC
The above Web site outlines the music of
Papua New Guinea from prior to 1870s to
the present day. It covers the true traditional
music up to the recent external influences on
the music of Papua New Guinea.
MUSIC OF THE PACIFIC ISLAND
The Pacific Ocean covers a third of
the earth's surface and contains the
deepest waters in the world. It is also
a region with deep musical traditions,
too, buffeted by the regular currents
of colonists and explorers and now
undergoing dramatic changes.You
can hear music ranging from ancestral
navigational chants and glorious
polyphonic singing to laments about
nuclear testing. The ethnic cultures of
the Pacific can be divided into three
main areas - Melanesia, lying mostly
south of the equator, Micronesia,
north of the equator above it, and
Polynesia, spread over a huge area
to the east.
WELCOME TO THE MUSIC
ARCHIVE OF THE PACIFIC
The Music Archive for the Pacific has
been established by the Southern Cross
University, Lismore, Australia. for the
main purpose of providing a collection
of recordings of indigenous music, related
books, journals, musical instruments and
art works to interested persons for
The archive covers the music of the
indigenous people of Australia (incl. Torres
Strait), Papua New Guinea (incl. Bougainville),
New Zealand as well as the nations of the
Pacific Islands - Cook Islands, Easter Island,
Fiji, Hawaii, Nauru, New Caledonia,
Rarotonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti,
Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
MUSIC ARCHIVE FOR THE PACIFIC
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The following are extracts from a few
interesting and most welcome letters that
I have recently received about our four
Pacific Islands Radio Stations, our artists,
music and the Pacific Islands in general.
In this respect, it is my great pleasure to
be able to share these letters with you all
as I find them to be most uplifting, supportive,
motivating and encouraging. They also provide
much needed feedback in order to continuously
monitor and enhance the quality of the service
provided by Pacific Islands Radio.
Please join with me in thanking these wonderful
people for sharing their kind thoughts with us
What an interesting article on Hawaii there is on
your latest website. I am very interested in Hawaiian
history, music and all things Hawaiian including Hula.
I have many cds on Hawaiian music and on Hawaiian
And a dvd on Elvis Presley in the film 'Blue Hawaii'
filmed on the Big Island and on Maui I believe? I
am very interested in the Hula too and its history etc.
I am interested also on the island of Tahiti, its
culture, history etc. I also have many cds on Tahitian
music and a dvd of the film "Mutiny on The Bounty",
starring Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard and Tarita
who is Tahitian, a beautiful Tahitian vahine then,
anyway, who performs a lovely Tamure (dance) with
a troupe of Tahitian Vahines in the film, and Brushes
Noses with Marlon Brando in one of the scenes.
I read that it was a sign of love and affection to
a member of the opposite sex. Tarita does it very
nicely too in the film.
There are also some very nice scenes of Taihiti
as it was in the time of the Mutiny in the 17th
or 18th century. I love Tahiti and Hawaii, the
beautiful Hawaiian wahines and the beautiful
Tahitian vahines, the Hula and the Tamure.
I also have a paperback book on the history of
Hawaii and a large book full of photos of beautiful
Tahitian vahines, photographed on location in Tahiti.
In 1958 I was stationed on the island of Kusaei
as a weather observer with the US AIR FORCE.
Some of the fondest memories of my life are those
of Kosrae and the native people, some of whom
became close friends. Would LOVE to communicate
with any of these old friends if they can be found.
Is Kosrae the same island as Kusaei?? I have a web
site with 1958 photos of Kusaei and friends. Anyone
interested? Would greatly appreciate a response.
Just thought I'd drop you a line to let you know
how much I've enjoyed your web site. It's always
been a dream of mine to visit some of the islands.
Maybe someday I will. Thank you and keep up
the good work!
Hello there Jane,
I was travelling through the net and I came across
your site and missed my bus so please drop me a
line and let me know how can I buy some cds of
yours and Xavier Fathal.
Thank you, James
First I would like congratulate you for making such
great - information rich web page! And I love your
radio it's great that you share this fantastic music all
over the world.
Gregor from Europe
Greetings from London! I was just reading an
article in the Independent about Tokelau joining
the Internet revolution. I was going to suggest to
my editor that we covered this item in some way.
Do you have a radio station in Tokelau? Can you
put me in contact with them please? Alternatively,
can you suggest someone we might be able to
speak to? A larger than life character who can
tell us what it's like living in Tokelau and what
it's been like joining the Internet age.
Best Wishes and thanks,
BBC World Service
Ph: 0207 557 2767 or 07900 4117 15
Room 805 Centre Block, Bush House, Aldwych,
London, WC2B 4PH, U.K.
* * * * * * *
IT'S TIME TO CHAT
Our Chat Rooms are always available for
online chatting between parties and can be
accessed via Jane's Oceania Home Page:
http://www.janeresture.com or the URLs:
COMMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
Your valuable contributions and comments
are always most welcome and they can be
sent to me at:
Thank you so much everybody for your
very kind support and for being such
important and valuable members of
our Pacific Islands Radio (Island Music)
As always, let us all hope for continuing
greater peace and harmony, good health,
prosperity and happiness, for everybody!
I wish you all the very best and please
May our God bless us all this day and
always! As usual I look forward to the
pleasure of your company next time!
Click Here For Artists' Profiles
(E-mail: email@example.com -- Rev. 12th December 2008)