Te Vaka: Haoloto (Spirit of Play)

 |   |  <1 min read

Te Vaka: Mana Malohi
Te Vaka: Haoloto (Spirit of Play)

If the shadow of climate change has hung over previous albums by award-winning Te Vaka -- a pan-Pacific group (leader Opetaia Foa’i was born in Samoa, has family ties to endangered Tuvalu and grew up in Auckland‘s Tokelau community) -- then it is hard to hear some of this, their sixth album, without thinking of last year’s tsunami which is specifically the theme of the mournfully beautiful Toe Fetaui/Till We Meet Again here.

There is a melancholy feel to other songs also (Te Mavaega/To Say Farewell) but more so there are songs which celebrate life: the love for the sea in log drum driven Tui Moana, in the lively instrumentals Tolu Afe and Talanoa Te Pate, the danceable Katakata Mai/Bring on the Smiles and the title track.

As always, culture and the strength it offers the individual is an over-riding theme (overtly in Mau Piailug/Master Navigator and the joyous Pasifika guitar pop of Mana Malohi/Supernatural Forces) and there is an optimism in both the uplifting arrangements for voices and keyboards, and in the gentle quasi-ambient opener Ata Fou/New Dawn which invites you to make the most of each day. 

Te Vaka are now resident in Sydney but their heart remains in the broad blue Pacific which nurtures their soul, sound and vision.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Mundi: In the Blink of an Eye (Monkey)

Mundi: In the Blink of an Eye (Monkey)

Every now and again New Zealand throws up a group which has a jazz/improv aspect but looks to diverse world music for influences. Elsewhere has posted albums by Superbrew from the Eighties and,... > Read more

WOMAD TARANAKI 2014: THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP

WOMAD TARANAKI 2014: THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP

As those who have followed Elsewhere would know, we here have long been interested in -- and have written extensively about -- "world music", long before many others. In fact, a quick... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you... > Read more

IN FROM THE COLD; THE WORLD OF RICHARD BURTON, a doco by TONY PALMER (Voiceprint/Triton DVD)

IN FROM THE COLD; THE WORLD OF RICHARD BURTON, a doco by TONY PALMER (Voiceprint/Triton DVD)

The great actor Sir John Gielgud used to shake his head in wonder at the towering talent of Richard Burton and say that "he came from nowhere, from nowhere". Which isn't true at all, he... > Read more