Presenting ancient music of the future! This week we are joined in the studio by musical mastermind John Oliver, composer and guitarist in Vancouver’s magically sublime Big World Band. We discuss the inception of this renegade project, the balance between tradition and innovation, and the spectral journey into cultural cross-pollination. John also presents live recordings from recent performances, describing how the songs were carved into existence.
Hear the interview here.
Next, we take a trip to the Micronesian nation of Kiribati, a lovely scatter-shot of islands (atolls, to be precise) in the west central Pacific Ocean. Kiribati’s days are numbered, as it will be one of the first countries to be swallowed up by rising sea levels. I suppose Kevin Costner may be a prophet after all..
But the music and people of Kiribati will live on (possibly in Fiji). Unexplored by Europeans until 1892, Kiribati’s music is uniquely unaffected by external influence. As far as we can tell, the i-Kiribati (strangest demonym ever – seemingly sponsored by Apple) have no traditional musical instruments. But they discovered long ago that the bare body makes a thumpin’ percussion sound when combined with high-octane group chanting! Hear this and some (slightly) more modern sounds in our musical ode to a Commonwealth brother. On behalf of all Canadians, we would like to invite the displaced people of Kiribati to our polar opposite paradise.
Hear our feature on Kiribati here.