Group unites to revive old tunes

TO revive music for the younger generation is what a group of musicians from Lomaiviti are working on today.

The group, called Lomaiviti Provisional Music, was formed during a grog session five years ago and today it is entertaining at various functions and traditional gatherings on Vanua Levu.

Viliame Tamani, who leads the group, said they needed to revive old tunes for traditional functions where contemporary Fijian music was being played.

“We always met up at the end of every week to practise on our voice and few songs that were sung by our local musicians that have passed on,” he said.

Tamani said a lot of songs they sing were mainly sung by their fallen fathers and grandfathers who led few famous music groups in the 1950s.

“We planned to revive songs sung by Miramira ni Katudrau which was led by the late Simeli Loga whose grandson is Apete Tuilovoni who is a member of our group,” he said.

“We also sing a few numbers from the group Viti na Wai led by Neumi Kalou who is from Vatani Village in Kaba, Bau, Tailevu but shares maternal links in Vadravadra on Gau and is also related to Apete Tuilovoni.”

Tamani said all the members of the group were related.

“What makes our group even stronger is that we are all related through blood, we are far from home and we are all here for similar reasons and that is to work,” he said.

Tuilovoni, who is a schoolteacher by profession, said the revival of old tunes was important to them as a way of keeping music alive.

“This is a way we can introduce the old songs to our younger generation and let them know that old songs are important as it talks about past events that are important to our country and vanua,” he said.

“We sing songs such as Dua na loaloa e mai solegi au composed and sung by Simeli Loga and his group the Miramira ni Katudrau. It’s about the MV Kadavulevu that sank back in 1964, E dua na siga vakanananu and Mai Ciri Yawa and a few songs that were sung by the Mua I Gau trio, Voqa kei Gau e loma and Senidawadawa Serenaders.”

Tuilovoni said when his grandfather Simeli Loga passed away, he got hold of the original copy of the Miramira ni Katudrau’s song book.

“We have entertained at various functions such as weddings, birthdays, village soli around here in Vanua Levu and other functions that we are invited to,” he said.

“Reviving of music from our homeland is another way of engaging the people and our vanua especially now that we are here and all we have of home is the music.”

The group plans to have its own recording as they too have composed a few of their originals.