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Melanesia Micronesia Polynesia
TELEK Serious Tam
George Mamua Telek
George Mamua Telek's music perfectly captures the spirit of the Tolai people of Papua New Guinea. He comes from the village of Raluana, near Rabaul on the Papua New Guinean island of New Britain, where he continues to live despite the volcano which destroyed their community in 1994.
The sound of Telek is essentially acoustic, the gentle guitars underpinned by ancestral drums such as the kundu (with an hourglass shape) and the garamut (massive slit logs). But above all there are the rich and unique three part harmonies, sung both in the Tolai language of Kuanuan and in a creole called Tok Pisin.
George Telek would have to be regarded as one of the most important performers in the Pacific region.
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The music of Fiji represents the indigenous traditions of Fiji along with those of India, China, Europe and other Pacific Islands. Fijian music styles and structures include and combine Polynesian and Melanesian music.
Fijians play both indigenous instruments as well as the guitar, ukulele and mandolin. Several kinds of drums are the main indigenous instruments. They were formerly a means of communication, much like we use a phone answering service these days when we need to telephone important news, announcing events of social significance such as wars, victories, births and deaths, each of which was announced by their own, distinctive rhythmic patterns.
Today, these drums are made of hardwood, shaped and hollowed out to produce a deep resonance, which can be heard at a distance of eight kilometers. Usually a pair of drums is used, one larger than the other, played by one or two players using wooden beaters similar to miniature or youth baseball bats.
Vanessa Quai (Vanuatu) in concert, New Caledonia
Pacific Islands Radio