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Original Contemporary Pacific Music


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Audio CD, June 10, 1997
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Original Contemporary Pacific Music + Nukukehe
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Editorial Reviews

CD

1. Tokelau
2. Te Namo
3. Pate Mo Tou Vae
4. Papa E
5. Ki Te La
6. Tautai E
7. Vaka Gaoi
8. Tagi Sina
9. Te Vaka
10. E Keli
11. Ika Ika
12. Siva Mai

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 10, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arc Music
  • ASIN: B000001ILS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,509 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
89%
4 star
11%
3 star
0%
2 star
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Kramer on September 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This cd isn't just a random collection of pretty tunes; it tells the story of the people of the island of Tokelau, and more generally, of all Pacific Islanders. Te Vaka means "the ship" and even if you aren't from the Pacific, you can imagine the importance of ships to people living on far-flung islands. In the first cut, "Tokelau" is not so much a song as setting a stage, as if you've landed on the island; first you hear the surf, then you hear the birdsong as you move inland, and finally you hear the sounds of an active village, with children laughing and people talking as they work. You're then treated to a joyful paean to "Te Namo," the lagoon, the focus of life on the island and the source of many happy childhood memories, sung by adults and children. "Papa E" is the story of the longing of a man who had to leave Tokelau to go make a living elsewhere. In "Tagi Sina" (goddess of the moon) you hear the love and utter heartbreak of a woman left behind when slavers came and took her family; in the 1900's these islands were decimated by slavers who were looking for people to work the mines of Peru. She is talking to the moon goddess, asking her to watch over her lost family and to bring them safely home. "Te Vaka" is a powerful rowing song; you feel like you're on an ocean-going canoe with the paddlers, and it's not a lazy little paddle on a lake, either; these guys are pros who are giving it their all on the deep blue sea. And for sheer happy silliness, "Ika Ika" is the song of a hungry man singing the praises of fish, knowing lunch is on the way.
This is a stunning cd, the like of which you will not see anywhere else. Full of heart and fire, grief and joy, this is the real deal, exquisitely performed and beautifully recorded, and very near my all-time favorite cd.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Kramer on September 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This cd isn't just a random collection of pretty tunes; it tells the story of the people of the island of Tokelau, and more generally, of all Pacific Islanders. Te Vaka means "the ship" and even if you aren't from the Pacific, you can imagine the importance of ships to people living on far-flung islands. In the first cut, "Tokelau" is not so much a song as setting a stage, as if you've landed on the island; first you hear the surf, then you hear the birdsong as you move inland, and finally you hear the sounds of an active village, with children laughing and people talking as they work. You're then treated to a joyful paean to "Te Namo," the lagoon, the focus of life on the island and the source of many happy childhood memories, sung by adults and children. "Papa E" is the story of the longing of a man who had to leave Tokelau to go make a living elsewhere. In "Tagi Sina" (goddess of the moon) you hear the love and utter heartbreak of a woman left behind when slavers came and took her family; in the 1900's these islands were decimated by slavers who were looking for people to work the mines of Peru. She is talking to the moon goddess, asking her to watch over her lost family and to bring them safely home. "Te Vaka" is a powerful rowing song; you feel like you're on an ocean-going canoe with the paddlers, and it's not a lazy little paddle on a lake, either; these guys are pros who are giving it their all on the deep blue sea. And for sheer happy silliness, "Ika Ika" is the song of a hungry man singing the praises of fish, knowing lunch is on the way.
This is a stunning cd, the like of which you will not see anywhere else. Full of heart and fire, grief and joy, this is the real deal, exquisitely performed and beautifully recorded, and very near my all-time favorite cd.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roger W. Macdonald-evoy on November 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best CD's available and I own nearly a thousand. Opetaia Foa'i who founded the group was born on Western Samoa from a Tokelauen father and Tuvaluen mother. He grew up in New Zealand speaking Tokelau the language he mostly records in. The band consists of Maori, Samoan, New Zealand and Cook Islanders and reflects the mix of cultural elements. You can hear contemporary instruments mixed in with traditional log drums and even chest beating, (at least I think I heard that).

As a high school teacher I have used this music for independent study time in lieu of other contemporary music which I also allow. Believe it or not I get repeated request to play this because it is so rhythmic and upbeat, this from 16 to 18 year olds in 2005 says something.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "r_wolfgramm" on January 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album was a welcome change from what type of music that generally comes out of the Pacific (rehashed reggae covers of other artist's songs). Hopefully that trend will end.
Te Vaka is thoroughy original and true to it's Pacific roots despite the use of modern instruments. It's fun when it needs to be fun and serious when it deals with issues that are serious. (Tagi Sina) None of it is pretentious and overall, it's a brilliant composition. A definite must have!
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Format: Audio CD
This is a rare find. If you're thinking it's just a bunch of obscure, badly recorded native island songs, you're wrong. It's a well produced, wonderful fusion of charming, soulful, and catchy island songs, blended with rich and melodic rhythms and music -- contemporary western and island instruments. The vocals are enchanting. The songs are the kind you might hum or sing to yourself. Easily, the best music of its kind. What Ofra Haza did for Isreali Music, Te Vaka does for Pacific Island Music.
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