Shaping Bamboo (1979)
33min · Documentary, Short · 1 January 1979
For the 'Are'are people of the Solomon Islands, the most valued music is that of the four types of panpipe ensembles. With the exception of slit drums, all musical instruments are made of bamboo; therefore the general word for instruments and the music performed with them is "bamboo" ('au). This film shows the making of panpipes, from the cutting the bamboo in the forest to the making of the final bindings. The most important part of the work consists in shaping each tube to its necessary length. Most 'Are'are panpipe makers measure the length of old instruments before they shape new tubes. Master musician 'Irisipau, surprisingly, takes the measure using his body, and adjusts the final tuning by ear. For the first time we can see here how the instruments and their artificial equiheptatonic scale-seven equidistant degrees in an octave-are practically tuned.
- Written by
Director(s): Hugo ZempCast: 'Irisipau, Supamae 'Irisitapa'a, Kinipa'ea