20 de junio de 2019
English - News

Music of Chile's Easter Island can now be downloaded from Web

Santiago, Apr 7 (efe-epa).- Anything from the traditional sounds of Polynesia to current pop or rock can now be downloaded from Rapa Nui Music, a Web site offering a catalogue of varied music created on Easter Island with one thing in common: All of it is in the ancient "rapa nui" language.

Rapa Nui Music is an online music store that allows customers to download albums or single tunes and the mission of which is to preserve and disseminate the language and the oral traditions of Easter Island - or Rapa Nui - lying more than 3,700 km (about 2,300 mi.) away from the Chilean mainland.

The island, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, already has it's own record label - Nuku Te Mango - which a couple created 15 years ago to develop the music of local rapa nui artists.

The music download platform "appears as a sister company to market what Nuku Te Mango does," and thus is goes far beyond the island itself, which has 7,700 inhabitante, business manager Cristobal Valenzuela, one of the project's creators, told EFE.

"The dissemination of rapa nui music has been going on for several years, but it focuses on the island's culture in general and on Easter Island music is very strong, very important, Valenzuela added.

Among the current local artists is Mito and his band, who combine ethnic sounds with modern pop.

"Our artists create works with soul and character, preserving ancestral elements and, at the same time, flirting with the trends that come out and are found all over the world," Valenzuela said.

To gather together all these sounds, the work of Nuku Te Mango has been essential, and the firm has now registered more than 50 albums by 25 artists over its 15 years in operation.

Before this production company opened its doors, artists andmusicians "had to leave the island, go to Santiago or Tahiti," said Sofia Abarca, the founder of Nuku Te Mango.

"Either of the two alternatives means big costs in air travel and production. It was complicated to be able to make records," Abarca added.

To date, distribution of the record label was by word of mouth on the island, the audience primarily a restricted group of Chilean and foreign tourists, but the launching of the online platform means that the island's music can be more easily marketed abroad.

Abarca, along with her husband, created the first recording studio and currently work in a top-quality one, where they also search or and record the island's oral traditions.

Easter Island is a territory of about 164 sq. km (63 sq. mi.) where some 900 world-famous "moais" - or huge carved stone heads - sculpted by local residents from the 9th to the 16th centuries are to be found.

The local music ranges from the country and "ranchero" style of the Topa Tangi band, founded in 1998, to Manuto, who has forged his own "new age" sound.

Some of the singers can be heard on the "Rapa Nui Music Sessions," a series of videos recorded on the island and viewable on YouTube, on which the artists perform their numbers to promote the new online music distribution site.

"The whole landscape is an artistic expression, from the archaeological heritage, the moais, the platforms, all that architecture, sculpture, everything speaks to you of a people with a particular sensibility who have a relationship with art," concluded Abarca regarding artistic expression on Easter Island, saying goodbye with the traditional "Iorana" - meaning "hi" or "bye" in rapa nui.


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