Contemporary Melanesian Song No. 5

‘Subela’ by Siokole Contemporary Dancers from Tulangi, Solomon Islands [Source: YouTube]

The Siokole Contemporary Dancers of Tulagi in the Solomon Islands, “revise old traditional songs and dances with a blend of modern Instruments and sounds”. The song in this clip is sung in the Gela language of Central Province and refers to the sighting by Islanders of the Spanish maritime explorer Alvaro Mendana’s ship as he “discovered” and named the Solomon Islands in February 1568.

Interesting aspects of the performance include the vocal polyphony and its relationship to the keyboard chording, the treatment of the voices and percussion in the recording process, and its overall sense of time and rhythm and how the dancing relates to this.


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