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Tahitian Choir: Rapa Iti

Oparo e opare e
Morotiri nei
Himene tatou
Tarema
Ei reka e
Ratou ki ota
To vahine ororagni
Te matamua
I te fenua
Tamaki a te mau ariki
Oparo
Tevaitau
Va hiti
Tau matamua
Te parau o eri rama

A thousand miles southeast of Tahiti lies the last piece of land before the South Pole. The island of Rapa Iti is home to 328 people of Polynesian descent. Though their church music has been influenced by Christian hymns, there is an ancient polyphonic music sung in quarter-tones kept very much alive by the whole population. That is the music chosen for this recording. It is sung by the island's 126 voice choir. Prior to this recording, the only one found by Pascal Nabet-meyer, the ethno-musicologist who did this recording, was a wax cylinder from 1906 found in the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. Though this Polynesian music is so unique it is almost impossible to describe, there are haunting similarities to an ancient unrhymical form of Hebrew Cantillation which dates back to the Temple in Jerusalem, and another early singing style called heterophony found in the Western Isles of Scotland. Is this musical continental drift, or what?

Item code: 9225C | 1 CD | $15.98 |add item to cart
World | Mixed | Polynesia
trcd 7192

Related: Music from the Pacific Islands
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