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ASCC Fine Arts Head Shares Tsunami Composition

Press Release – ASCC Fine Arts

Namulauulu Dr. Paul Pouesi, chairman of the Fine Arts Department at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) has composed a song to commemorate the events of September 29th, 2009, when an earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of American Samoa. The …ASCC Fine Arts Head Shares Tsunami Composition

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

Namulauulu Dr. Paul Pouesi, chairman of the Fine Arts Department at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) has composed a song to commemorate the events of September 29th, 2009, when an earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of American Samoa. The song, “Iesu le Fa’aola”, speaks of turning to God to find meaning and comfort in times of terrible events, with music composed by Dr. Pouesi and lyrics written in collaboration with his brother Daniel Pouesi of California. Dr. Pouesi has begun distributing the song to his students and to community members in the hopes it will be included in the ceremonies next week to mark the tsunami anniversary, and he also invites any “aufaipese” to download the song from his website should they wish to perform it.

Describing his inspiration for the new composition, Dr. Pouesi recalled his experience with the commemorations of the 9/11 tragedy. “In 2002, choirs all over the world performed the “Rolling Requiem” by Mozart. The ASCC Choir represented American Samoa that year, and it made that local and national news. Since all the churches in Tutuila and Manu’a will participate in this special service to mark one year since the tsunami, I thought it would be uplifting to make available this musical piece as a requiem for church choirs to sing in their worship services.”

Anyone interested can access the words and music of “Iesu le Fa’aola” simply by visiting the Pouesi Community Service website (http://lenota.com/page10.aspx). Explaining the lyrics, Dr. Pouesi said he and his brother Daniel looked to the Bible for a way to try and make sense of tragic events. “We adapted words from Psalm 31 for this commemorative song because it is both a psalm of lament and of trust,” Daniel Pouesi recalled, sharing his thoughts via email. “Psalm 31 alludes to Jesus’ own suffering. In His hour of deepest anguish, Jesus prayed and put his trust solely in His Father and asked that the Father be His rock of refuge. The psalm follows what should be our response to distress. There’s calamity, a prayer for deliverance, trust in the Lord, and gratitude in the midst of suffering. And finally, there’s hope.”

Dr. Pouesi feels confident that any choir can easily perform “Iesu le Fa’aola”. “My concert and chamber choirs learned the music in 30 minutes – it’s simple,” he said. Pouesi’s students will take the music to their respective church choir directors to see if they can learn it to perform as part of the special services this coming Wednesday.

With the fall 2010 semester still getting into gear, Dr. Pouesi spoke of other activities that will keep the Fine Arts Department busy for the next few months. “We’ve divided the stage band into three groups, Gospel, Jazz & Pop, and Rock, and we’ll do three concerts at the ASCC mini-amphitheater in front of the cafeteria on October 7th, November 9th, and November 23rd.” Dr. Pouesi also said music instructor Kuki Tuiasosopo has the Ukulele Ensemble active for this semester, while visual artist Regina Meredith and her students will apply their talents towards a number of Community Service projects.

ENDS

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1 comment:

  1. Lalolama Lulu Ah Mu-Pouesi, 26. September 2010, 13:24

    All church bells in American Samoa will be ringing at the time the tsunami hit Samoa. Then worship services follow and I can imagine the impact of this song as voices of comfort from choirs echo throughout the islands. God bless all the affected families and we’ll always remember our loved ones now with our Lord in Heaven.