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PENI ANAE - TAIMI NEI O LE SELESELEGA
PENI ANAE - TAIMI NEI O LE SELESELEGA
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WESTERN SAMOAN TEACHERS’ TRAINING COLLEGE - Song & Rhythm
[HLS-024]

$24.95

WESTERN SAMOAN TEACHERS’ TRAINING COLLEGE CHOIR - Samoan Song and Rhythm

Songs and Dances for Honoured Guests

  1. Fonuea, Laumei, Alulue, Aluluo (The Girl Turned Into A Turtle, Hallelujah!);
  2. Sina;
  3. La Ele Ele ua la Malie i Vai (The Earth Is Porous, Its Thirst Unslaked By Water);
  4. Mauluulu Song (A Light Shower);
  5. Aue ta Ino Ino; (Oh, How Annoying);
  6. Songs for Fiafia and Siva (Exuberant Dances);
  7. Faleula E (Let Us Go To The Faleula, To Hear The Word Of Our Chiefs);
  8. Sasa (Posture Dance)

Compact Disc CD HLS-24

This is the second recording to feature the Samoa Teachers Training College in Apia. It is outstanding in several respects, but chiefly for the high standard of performances, and it is fitting that this high level of cultural attainment should be found in young men and women who will in turn be going to teach at schools throughout Western Samoa. Add to this a conductor and musician of the ability of Mrs. Falenaoti Tiresa Malietoa, B.A., who is also the Principal of the College, and a massed choir of two hundred and thirty, and you also have the type of sound appropriate for traditional Samoan songs, which are nearly always sung by large groups. The choir has been drilled and practised fastidiously; there is a professional attention to detail; the beginning and ending of every phrase is beautiful and delicate, and the voices, divided into several parts, are absolutely true. Yet there is in this recording the wild spirit of Samoa. Take the bracket of songs for Fiafia and Samoan Siva. It is not long before the exuberant spirit takes over. Mrs Malietoa dances the siva; some of the singers get up to join in, and, as the French say, the ambience becomes terrific. One boy, going through the intricate slapping routine, is carried away to the point where he drums on the wall. The whole is punctuated by wild whooping which is very much a part of the performance. There is also the song "Faleula", the origin of which I discovered while reading Robert Louis Stevenson's "A Footnote To History." It is a detailed account of the Samoan troubles from the late 1880's, including the war of 1889. At that time, the forces of Mataafa Josefa, one of three principal claimants to the Samoan throne, were gathered at the village of Malie, next to Faleula point, which looked across to Mulinuu, where Tamasese, the acknowledged King, was holding court. The song, which is largely repetitive, must have been wildly moving in those times. Its meaning is something like this: "Let us go to the Faleula, to hear the word of our chiefs....." The advantage of this recording is that the voices are mature and controlled. Notice how the tempo speeds up towards the finish, driving up to a hard climax. As this is a recording of song and rhythm, there are also a couple of sasa included. The Sasa is a posture dance, performed in a sitting position - can you imagine that? The rhythm is provided by drumming, and the dancers keep time with clapping, which is also part of an elaborate and skilled routine. To the sincere collector of genuine folk music this album is a "must." To the enthusiast looking for something to remind him of Samoa there could be nothing better. Jim Siers

Samoa / Pacific

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