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Pacific Sounds Preserved

19 May, 2001

The sounds and music of the Pacific will be preserved in the first Pacific Island Sound Archives, launched today by Pacific Island Affairs Minister Mark Gosche and contemporary Pacific musicians at the Otara Music Arts Centre.

"Pacific music records histories, cultures and lives," said Mr Gosche.

"These archives will form a library of Pacific sounds, rich in tradition but also capturing contemporary Pacific music."

Before Government approved the $86,306 in funding, many hours of audio tapes were deteriorating on the shelves at Auckland University. Ancient and modern sound recordings contained in the South Pacific Archives as well as the 60-hour Tagata Tagata tapes recorded from a 1992 expedition will be preserved in the new archives.

The new funding will also enable a New Zealand technician to train radio station operators throughout the Pacific on how to preserve and protect the tapes in their possession. Experts estimate that the past few years have seen up to a third of existing Pacific sound material disappear.

At the launch Mr Gosche also presented Pacific music icon Bill Sevisi with a copy of a documentary on his life.

"Bill's contribution to Pacific and New Zealand music is legendary and his documentary will one of the first new tapes to be kept in the archives," said Mr Gosche.

May is NZ Music Month and Mr Gosche also noted the success of many Pacific artists including King Kapisi, Che Fu, Jamoa Jam, Lole Usoalii and OMC.


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