Charles Maimarosia is a unique and extraordinary Solomon Islands singer and musician, raised in the remote Pipisu village of Malaita. He is renowned for being a singer of important custom knowledge, drawing equally on traditional and contemporary musical styles.
New single Haiamasina (English translation: ‘Loving’), is an expansive and strident love poem that illustrates ‘Are’Are customs and traditions. The song was produced by Andrew Robinson, with Maimarosia’s bold vocals backed by the drumming of Bougainville legend Emmanuel Hakalitz, backing vocals from Ambrym, Vanuatu artist Tio, alongside Paul Cartwright on bass, Rosie Excess on guitar, and David Bridie on piano & organ.
Charles elaborates on the meaning of Haiamasina: “Universal love is conscious and loving at the same time. It is also known as universal consciousness or cosmic consciousness. Universal love is a unification of all aspects of essence. When you experience universal love, you understand the action of love and nature.”
Charles developed a profound interest in ‘Are’Are music at a young age after inheriting his first hand made coconut shell ukulele from his father. He later began performing amongst the community, communicating ancient songs of his ancestors with hand-made pan pipes. In a recent interview on ABC’s Pacific Beat, Charles further explains this aspect of his artistic practice – “The stories and poems and things that I mentioned passed through oral, not written words but oral, one generation could pass that knowledge to another generation and these elderly people are the libraries.”
In 2000, along with like-minded boys of his village, Charles formed the globally-recognised energetic panpipe orchestra known as Narasirato, acting as their former front man, choreographer and songwriter, incorporating traditional ‘Are’are music and spirited dances.
Performing for the first time in Cook Town, Australia led Narasirato to national and international festival appearances in Japan and the Middle East. The band’s single release “My Culture, My Life”, from their debut album Naratana Hiona, climbed to #1 on the Asia/Pacific charts. In 2010 Charles relocated to Melbourne to focus on his solo career and has since toured with the legendary George Telek, and released his debut solo EP ‘Are’Are in 2016. In 2020 Charles released the single ‘A’mamiuru’ to raise funds for the community in Solomon Islands after a ferry disaster caused by Tropical Cyclone Harold.
“Are’are’ rightly places Maimarosia at the centre of contemporary Melanesian music. My only complaint is that at eight tracks, this recording is far too short.” –Seth Jordan, Songlines UK
Amongst the hustle and bustle of Melbourne beginning its working day, Charles Maimarosia set up to perform his original song ‘Merani Toro’ in Swanston St Forecourt at Federation Square.
We weren’t sure what to expect of the contemporary performer from the Solomon Islands, who is taking part in this year’s Fed Square Live concert series, but needless to say we were thrilled with the results!
Fed Square Live is a free, live, summer music series featuring a huge lineup of independent and emerging acts that will launch audiences into the heart of Melbourne’s music scene.
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