TENTO erschließen als vierköpfiges Forscherteam ein musikalisches Archipel irgendwo im Bermudadreieck der bandgeprägten Musik zwischen Indie, Pop, Alternative und Jazz. Sanft an- und absteigende, mit bunter Flora gesprenkelte Landschaften kann der geneigte Besucher hier entdecken, aber auch karges, steiniges und rasch sich änderndes Terrain.
Seitdem das klassische Bandtrio (Gitarre, Bass, Schlagzeug) durch ein Keyboard ergänzt wurde, ersetzt das Saxofon in einigen Songs die Gitarre.
Visiting Tento on the Tongatum Islands
A travel report by Palin Ekesson, SDN Global Discovery
This week, I was going to visit the Tongatum Islands, which are one of the most remote places on earth. The Tongatumarchipel consists of two main islands. The capital Georgetown is located on Santa Pet. The reason for this journey was Tento, a band who invited me to discover their world.
Santa Pet has a very small airport and I was almost the only person in the plane. As soon as I left the airport, I took a taxi to the hotel. At first, I was surprised that the taxi driver has only one arm. I asked him about his arm and he said that he used to be a fisherman, but one day his boat was pulled down by a very large creature of the sea. Since he lost his boat and arm, he had to find a new job and so he became a taxi driver. “As soon as I have enough money, I will buy a boat again. “,he said.
The next day was a sunny day and I woke up and atebreakfast. Then, I went to the rehearsal room of Tento. Funnily, the same taxi driver brought me there. When I arrived, the members of Tento greeted me happily:
Me: Hello guys. I am Palin
Olandario: Hi, Hello, I am Olandario
Al: Hi, Hello, I am Al Picante
José: Hi, Hello, I am José Gonzales
Laney: Hi, Hello, I am Laney Hagstorm
Olandario: Welcome, did you have a good flight?
Me: Yes, it just took me so long to come over here. So this is where yourrehearsal is?
Olandario: Yes, exactly. Here we meet once a week. But very often we meet at the port to have lunch together. There they have always fresh fish. If you want, later we can go there, and we show you some traditional food from the Tongatum Islands.
Me: Sounds great. I’d love to. So what are you doing usually during your days?
Olandario: Al and I, we are teachers at the George III school.
Laney: And José and I we work at the radio station which is not so far from here.
Me: Ah cool, you have an island radio?
José: There are two stations. The other radio station is on Tongatum, the other island.
Me: Very interesting. In general, I wonder how did you or how did people come over here to these islands? Were you born here?
Al: Yes, we were all born here. The history of Tongatum Islands is very interesting. The reason why you see western looking people here is that almost 300 years ago there was a seabattle between a French, British and a Spanish war ships here.
Laney: They say that the three ships met coincidentally here. On the other side, it is the only land that you can reach for thousands of miles. Sothey met between the two islands and started shooting and all three of them sank. The crew of the British ship swam to Tongatum and the Spaniards and French swam to Santa Pet. On Tongatum there were no people living but on Santa Pet, there was a native tribe. The people from the ships mixed with the native people as well as the culture and languages.
Me: Amazing! So, all of them continued living here!
Olandario: And that’s the origin of our own language Tongatoish.
José: Actually only Olandario knows how to speak Tongatoish because he went to the cultural college in Santa Pet. Tongatoish is a mix between the local Polynesia language, English, French and Spanish. But, my ancestors were only speaking Spanish and I am still fluent.
Laney: My grandmother spoke Spanish with me but in the end the official language is English.
Al: There are also some Polynesian folks on the island who still speak some unknown Polynesia. You see, it’s very crazy regarding the languages here.
José: There are many stories and tales on the island. Olandario is singing in our new song about one.
Me: You have a new song?
José: Yes, we finished it last week.
Me: Are you planning to come to Europe for a concert one day?
Al: Indeed, we will have a concert in Germany. A friend of mine is working there, and he invited us to come.
Olandario: Who is hungry? Let’s go to eat!
We went downstairs in order to take a bus to a restaurant. Olandario, Al, José and Laney were very proud to present methe local specialty “Shell du Nost”. While we were waiting for our dish, we continued the interview. At the end, I went back to the hotel