TE VAKA: Haoloto
By Amanda Mills
Pan-Pacific performance group Te Vaka has been lauded internationally in their 15-year career, and in 2008 was presented with four industry awards from Australia and NZ. Recorded and mixed in Sydney where Te Vaka are currently based, their sixth album once again showcases the songwriting talents of Opetaia Foa’i. The infectious rhythms and flowing melodies are strong lures to both the diehard and casual fan, the power of the Pacific rhythms telling stories of its own. ‘Haoloto’ incorporates the cultures of the creators – Tauasa has Tuvaluan legend, Tui Moana talks of a love of the sea, while Mana Malohi is about ancestral supernatural forces. The energy present in the music is hypnotic, and draws the listener in, persuading you to take notice of what is being said. Amidst all the energy are some moments of reflection with the beautiful and melancholic Toe Fetaui (Till We Meet Again) – about and dedicated to all those who lost loved ones in the 2009 Samoan earthquakes and tsunami. ‘Haoloto’ is a joyful listening experience and one that will only enhance Foa’i and Te Vaka’s long-standing reputations.