Te Vaka Interview/Performance

Folk Music & Beyond Playlist for September 18, 2010
Te Vaka

This afternoon, award-winning band TE VAKA from the South Pacific joins us to play and sing and talk about the pioneers of the Pacific, more peaceful ways of life in the coral atolls, the problems of overfishing and global warming, and the Festival of Pacific Arts. I recorded this interview two months ago in my living room, with engineering help from Robert Robinett, when the band was here to make their first ever San Francisco performance at the Great American Music Hall.

Let's listen to a few songs from their most recent CD, Tutuki, and then we'll hear them play "live" and talk about their Pacific roots and the islands they come from.

Te Vaka / #2 Taule Mataki / Tutuki / Spirit of Play Productions

Te Vaka / #6 Te Kaiga / Tutuki / Spirit of Play

Te Vaka / #7 Magalogalo / Tutuki / Spirit of Play [~11:30]

#2 talks about the terrifying disease (AIDS)

#6 says, the most valuable thing to a family is preparing the children to face the world. Treasure the young, they need lots of love, teach so they understand, tell them the truth, it's a very short time we have with them.

#7 is dedicated to his great great grandfather from "Penrhyn" Island in the Cooks, which is called Magalogalo by Pacific Islanders.

Play INTERVIEW, #1, #2....singing and first part of interview:

Opetai (& Julie) Foie talks about pioneers of the Pacific, wisdom of Pacific life style.

Te Vaka / #8 Uluhina / Tutuki / Spirit of Play

Te Vaka / #9 Aivoli Taoa / Tutuki / Spirit of Play

Te Vaka / #4 Tutuki / Tutuki / Spirit of Play [~12:00]

#8 talks about breaking down the barriers between us by dancing so sweetly

#9 is a prayer for healing

#4 sings about the important beat, the important dance, that brings pride and joy to us all; do the dance moves, do them the best you can, so proud when we sing, so proud when we dance. [11:30]


Opetai talks about the islands he is from, and the log drums.

Te Vaka / #3 Lakilua / Tutuki / Spirit of Play

Te Vaka / #10 Oku Tupuga / Tutuki / Spirit of Play (log drums)

Te Vaka / #11 Manu Samoa / Tutuki / Sprit of Play [~9:00]

#3 is about Lakilua, which is a traditional name given to the South West by West wind which blows during the "Laki" or hurricane season.

#10 is about "My Ancestors"

#11 says the whole world has witnessed the courage of the warriors of Samoa.


Talks about global warming, Japanese fishing abuse

Te Vaka / #1 Samulai / Tutuki / Spirit of Play (about the Japanese fishing)

#1 talks about "Your big cash, your big ships, the Pacific ocean was once the home of the tautai, now it is being fished by the samurai."


Festival of Pacific Arts, say goodbye. They then pick up my electric guitar and start playing another song.

[~33:00 of interview, hour of music]

25 more minutes of music:

Some of my favorites from the South Pacific for rest of show:

Tumuenua Dance Group / #1 Kia Orana (Welcome) / Cook Island Chants & Songs / Voyager

Tumuenua Dance Group /#2 Rarotonga Te Enua (The Island of Rarotonga) / Cook Island Chants & Songs / Voyager

Tumuenua Dance Group / #8 Rarotonga Nui (The Great Rarotonga) / Cook Island Chants & Songs / Voyager