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about

Stringband music is the most widespread style of music in PNG. Through every town you can hear stringband tapes blaring from the speakers inside the clothing, food and music shops. Most villages have their own stringband which sing songs in the local dialect (tok ples) about village issues and events. Many of the stringbands have released a cassette or two of their songs through the local recording studios. There are hundreds to choose from. Because many sing in their own tok ples, cassettes don't normally sell very well outside their own province. However the Moab Stringband, who sing songs in their Tolais language sell quite a lot of cassettes outside Rabaul.

Acoustic guitars were introduced to PNG by the missionaries who had worked the Polynesian islands such as Hawaii and Tonga. The nationals were taught to play the church songs on the acoustic guitar and both this singing and guitar playing is evident in Stringband music. Recently, rock, pop and country and western influences through radio and the various PNG rock bands have also filtered into Stringband music.

lyrics

Uuu raura bebaik mutar
Pukai Loop Mara Tulungei Dir
Abebe Warpi Lan Eie

Two butterflies representing spirits
of my ancestors fly over me the magic man

Uuu raura bebaik mutar
Pukai Loop Mara Tulungei Dir
Abebe Warpi Lan Eie

Two butterflies representing spirits
of my ancestors fly over me the magic man

Akamana ra valian mur pukai
Ialir abebe warpi lan eie

They fly to the beach and over the sea
so far away they cannot be seen anymore

Uuu raura bebaik mutar
Pukai Loop Mara Tulungei Dir
Abebe Warpi Lan Eie

Two butterflies representing spirits
of my ancestors fly over me the magic man

Uuu raura bebaik mutar
Pukai Loop Mara Tulungei Dir
Abebe Warpi Lan Eie

Two butterflies representing spirits
of my ancestors fly over me the magic man

Akamana ra valian mur pukai
Ialir abebe warpi lan eie

They fly to the beach and over the sea
so far away they cannot be seen anymore

credits

from Tabaran, released October 10, 1990
MOAB STRINGBAND
Telek : vocals
Mosly Wanaot : lead guitar
Minies Bilak : rhythm guitar
Kaul Wartir : rhythm guitar/vocals
Wargi Pindiat : bass guitar
Keni Wartir : ukelele

NDW
Russel Bradley : percussion
David Bridie : piano, keyboards, backing vocals
Rowan McKinnon : acoustic guitar, bass
John Phillips : guitar
James Southall : bongos

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all rights reserved

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about

Not Drowning, Waving Melbourne, Australia

NDW's music was haunting, evocative, brooding, sensuous and a million other words that excite people who type for a living. In record stores, you could usually find NDW filed under ambient or art-rock, ill-fitting labels if ever there were. Though they were often minimalist, they never made background music. Arty by comparison to other acts of the era, but they knocked out some glorious pop tunes. ... more

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