The Wantok Musik Foundation is a not-for-profit music label that records, releases and promotes culturally infused music from First Nation Australia, Melanesia and Oceania. Bringing together music, artwork, theatre, film and community projects, Wantok Musik raises the local and international profile of First Nations and world music groups based in the Oceanic region.
As one of Australia’s most significant First Nations songwriters, Pitjantjatjara man Frank Yamma holds the ability to cross-cultural and musical boundaries. His mighty songs, magical guitar playing and deeply evocative voice tell stories of country, protection, heartache, travel and love.
Sir George Mamua Telek has long been at the forefront of the PNG music scene. Whether it is through his work with the village-based Moab Stringband, legendary 80’s rock band Painim Wok, his various collaborations, or critically acclaimed solo output, George Telek is one of the most important performers in the Pacific region.
From Renbel, Solomon Islands, Kaumaakonga breathe new life into their traditional Avaiki chants while combining traditional rhythms and percussion with panpipes, guitar and unique vocal harmonies. They rework and perform the chants and stories of their Polynesian forefathers, many which were previously forbidden and at risk of disappearing completely due to the effects of colonisation and religion reaching the shores of these small islands.
Community projects sit at the very heart of the Wantok Musik Foundation. Developed in partnership with local custodians and keepers of culture, these projects document and record the richness of Melanesian and First Nation ways of life through song, ritual and performance, and through this achieve sustainable, positive outcomes for the community.
OL SING BLONG PLANTESEN
Ol Sing Blong Plantesen - Plantation Songs - brings to light the fascinating and creative tradition of Salvesen, a song and dance form that emerged from the sorrowful and alienating years of South Sea Islanders' indentured labor in the cane fields of Queensland from the 1860s to the turn of the century.
A BIT NA TA
A Bit na Ta is a project located in ples (place): Rabaul, East New Britain, PNG. Commissioned for the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, the project engages with the enormous changes that have washed over the century 1875-1975 from the perspective of the Tolai peoples who inhabit the lands surrounding it.
WANTOK SING SING
Sing Sing explores the shared links and differences of culture, of history, and of place. From the highlands of West Papua, through the forests and coral atolls of PNG, through the many Torres Strait Islands and down into the vast deserts of Australia: we follow these important songlines. The SingSing ensemble have been invited to perform at the 2012 London Olympics, WOMADelaide, The Sydney Opera House (Message Sticks Festival), and Boomerang Festival, as well as tours throughout Melanesia, Europe, and the USA.