Avaiki musical outfit Kaumaakonga consists of musicians from the Solomon Islands, predominantly from Mungava and Mungiki (hence: Ava-iki), also known as Rennell and Bellona (RenBel) islands.
KMK 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.
KMK is the result of individual members efforts to take the listener on a sonic journey from the past and propel them to the future of modern/traditional Polynesian and Melanesian musical fusions.
With the support of their Elders and community members from these remote islands, KMK are working hard as forerunners in Avaiki music, and their passionate live performances have audiences moving right throughout the Pacific.
The recorded tracks of their debut album are a collection of diverse islands songs, including many traditional chants, re-arranged in their own unique genre, with wonderful harmonies and driving rhythms.
“Reviving and reworking the chants is so important to us, because playing this music helps us connect to our past, our forefathers and helps us understand where they've been, what was important to them, the voyages, their achievements, their love lives etc. Basically, they musically remind us of who we were, and who we truly are.”
~ Will Tekatoha, KMK guitarist.
KMK has performed locally and internationally, most notably in Vanuatu and Australia. They have represented the Solomon Islands in multiple International festivals; Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture (Papua New Guinea 2014, Solomon Islands 2018) and Festival Of Pacific Arts (Guam 2016) as well as repeat visits to Australia for various festivals and cultural exchanges.
Kaumaakonga’s debut album, Taoba is out now and is set to pave new pathways for Solomon Islands and Avaiki music on an international scale.