Kaumaakonga (KMK) is proud to release their debut album Taoba on Wantok Musik. This collective of musicians aim to revive and renew the traditional Avaiki music, chants and dance of their forefathers.
KMK members hail from across the Solomon Islands - predominantly from Mungava and Mungiki (Avaiki), officially known as Rennell and Bellona (RenBel) islands.
With the influence of the groups’ Polynesian and Melanesian cultures, KMK breathe new life into their ancient chants while combining traditional rhythms and percussion with panpipes, guitar and unique vocal harmonies.
KMK’s music is the combination of individual members efforts to take the listener on a sonic journey from the past and propel them to the future of modern and traditional Polynesian Melanesian musical fusions.
“Proud to have worked on this wonderful Kaumaakonga EP. It’s a musically and culturally vital collection of songs from a very driven and talented outfit ready to stamp their mark as one of the best and most unique bands in our region. These are great songs, every one of them. They come from a place where Melanesia and Polynesia meet," said David Bridie, the Artistic Director at Wantok Musik.
This diverse and distinctive band is a special experience to see live, with music that is unique to this part of the world as well as KMK’s vibrant stage personality and live performance style. They have been well received throughout the Solomon Islands as well as internationally, most notably in Vanuatu and Australia. They have also represented Solomon Islands in two International festivals, Melanesian Festival of Arts (Papua New Guinea 2014) and Festival of Pacific Arts (Guam 2016).
The recorded tracks on their debut release, Taoba are a collection of traditional chants, re-arranged to create a unique hybrid genre. Several of the songs on the album have been passed down through oral traditions for over 26 generations and re-arranged by and for KMK with wonderful harmonies and driving rhythms.
“It is important to us because playing this music is a revival of a long lost or disappearing culture. It helps us connect to our past, our forefathers and helps us understand where they've been, what was important to them, the voyages, their achievement, their love lives etc. Basically, they musically remind us of who we were and who we truly are," says Will Tekatoha, guitarist.
Taoba is being released by Wantok Musik on June 21 and is set to pave new pathways for Polynesian & Melanesian music on an international scale.
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Watch music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgGYkQlBlJY