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Veteran Manihiki composer here to entertain

Tuesday 14 March 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Entertainment, National


Veteran Manihiki composer here to entertain
Veteran composer Ruhau Tamaunu from the island of Manihiki is returning to the stage, competing in The Edgewater Resort and Spa Te Pae Tai Nui' Te Mire Atu competition this Thursday. Picture: MELINA ETCHES/23031302

Veteran composer Ruhau Tamaunu from the island of Manihiki is returning to the stage this Thursday night to perform in The Edgewater Resort and Spa Te Pae Tai Nui' Te Mire Atu competition.

Tamaunu first appeared on stage as a composer in the country’s first composers competition nearly 40 years ago in 1986 at the Trailways Hotel (now Club Raro). He walked away with the first prize of $1000.

He first entered Te Mire Atu in 2017, and is making a return in this year’s event singing his own composition.

“My grandfather (Tamaunu Rahi) was a composer of Imene Tuki, te imene nei te Manihiki i teia taime. When I joined music, I was really interested in singing because my Mum was a good singer, so I wanted to be a good singer too.”

Tamaunu has recorded two albums and is looking forward to the competition, “to show myself again to people before I go back to Manihiki”.

At the age of 68, Tamaunu said: “I’m just here to entertain the people, and I may as well do it before I fly back.”

Nine composers are set to showcase their talent in the Tauranga Vananga’s (Ministry of Cultural Development) first cultural event for the year to be held at The Edgewater Resort and Spa in Arorangi. The show will start at 7pm.

The competition is a celebration of original Cook Islands compositions by talented singers and cultural artists, and it provides residents and visitors with an opportunity to listen to beautiful, traditional music.

The emcee for the night is Papatua Papatua and the opening address will be delivered by the Minister of Tauranga Vananga, George “Maggie” Angene.

The 2023 Mire Atu Edgewater Resort & Spa Composers competitors are: Ben Tuteru – Natural Heritage Trust, Pastor Ngarima George – Punanga Nui market, Pastor Kapao – Faith, Alive and Dream Centre, Akerangi Fredrick – Mitiaro Enua, Ruhau Tamaunu – Manihiki Henua, Matapo Koroa – Mangaia Enua, Merle Pukerua – Manihiki Henua, Poti Maeva – Pukapuka/Nassau, Piritau Nga – Rarotonga International Airport.

Judges for the evening are: Kathy Nubono - Atiu (2022 Mire Atu winner), Jane Kora - Manihiki (composer and tumu korero), Tuaine Teiti – Mangaia (composer and tumu korero), Vai Peua – Pukapuka (composer and tumu korero), Sonny Daniel – Rarotonga (former Mire Atu winner).

The competition will be judged on three categories: Te tata'anga e te 'atu anga  o te imene (Lyrics) - Te tau'anga o te au tuatua o te Imene 'Atu (Lyrics & appropriateness of Composition), Atu'anga e te 'atui'anga ki te Tumu Tapura (Composition and connection to the theme); Te akatangi'anga e te akano'ono'o'anga (Music & Arrangement) - Te akatangi'anga Tiunu Ou o te imene - 7 nota (Originality of Tune to the Song) 1st 7 musical notes & bars, Te Akano'ono'anga oraora ete marie o te imene (Arrangements and Tempo of the song); Te turanga o te imene (Standard & Clarity) - Te turanga teitei o te imene (Overall Taste and Presentation), Takataka te arataki anga o te imene (Clarity and Diction).