In the age of computer generated music and technology, it is exciting to hear about the resurgence of traditional instruments. The vivo, a high pitched nose flute, which was widely used in pre-missionary Polynesia, is having a bit of a revival. The Ministry of Cultural Development in the Cook Islands has organised workshops and had 1500 vivo made on the island of Mangaia, where the bamboo used for the instrument grows naturally.
Many of the flutes from Pacific islands are nose blown rather than mouth blown, which fascinated me. Why was this, I asked myself? One story I heard was that the breath out of your nose is thought of as being pure whilst often breath from the mouth can bring forth obscenities, such as in speech. Therefore making flute music with air produced from the nose was symbolically thought to have the purest intentions.