What is Malaga-The Journey?

Malaga is the Samoan word for journey.

Malaga is a large scale, multi-movement, sacred choral and instrumental work, composed by world renowned composer/conductor and musical director Igelese Ete with guests works by other invited pacific composers.

Malaga is a deeply-moving spiritual journey depicting the movement of a people from Hawai’iki to new homelands.

Remaining true to the source – our Atua/God – as well as to the sea, we are inspired by the ancient navigational history of Oceanic peoples.

We then compare these to the stories, emotions and experiences of more recent voyagers taken by our grandparents and parents.

Malaga is hope, in the ever moving present.

Malaga is symbol for our status as ‘visitors.’  For our ‘state’ of in-betweeness.  In the Va.  That place connecting this homeland and the last, between this Island and the next.  

Some have said it is in our blood to be mobile.  Forever exploring, forever enlarging; our minds, our hearts and our learning into new horizons.  Inscribing within us still, the values, ethics, languages and heritage/s to which we will always belong.  Malaga is metaphor.  As individuals from a variety of Pasifika backgrounds, we unite.  We know that together, we succeed.


“Motu – Islands/broken on the ocean of Kiwa

I exhort you, rise… Listen! Come forth, shake out, shake off, Awake!

Returning birds from that space between us

Are roused – have spoken

Abide with me!


‘Lo matou Atua’ our God speaks to us.  The sea is rising.  We respond and a call to voyage is made.  We construct an ocean going doublehulled canoe – a Vaka/Wa/Va’a/Waka.  When building is complete, an offering is made to Tagaloa.  Preparations are underway to depart.   As people rest, a lament by a mother (Tinaa) and her daughter (Hina) rises above the sea and a community mourns.  A mother grieves.  Tears are shed.  Farewells are made.  With the vastness of the ocean in front, it is easy to feel small, alone and afraid.  To succeed, we support one another.  To survive, we unite.  Guided by the incantations and wisdom handed to us, Hina and her Navigator use the wind, currents, stars and birds to reach land.  On arrival the Navigator faces the setting sun and pays homage to Tagaloa for safe passage.  We disembark and are welcomed to shore by the spirits and guardians of the land.  Sound moves the remembered past into the present.  The challenges of navigating through modern day terrain are encountered.  The strength of a burdened people is transformed by the resilience and determination of all. Many take root in the land.  Others continue to navigate the seas.  Reconnecting with present descendants, we celebrate and honour the strength and spirit of the Pacific.  Prayer and thanksgiving closes the circle and the journey is sanctified.  -  Jakki Leota

We dedicate our performances to climate refugees, who move to new homelands because of rising sea levels in the contemporary world.  3 To the people of this land – se’i tulou, tulou, tulou lava! For sanctuary, we thank you.

Tuilagi Igelese Ete
Dip Tchng (Whitireia) BMus (Well) MMus (Auckland)
Head of Performing Arts Oceania Centre for Arts Culture and Pacific Studies University of the South Pacific


The Pasifika Voices Ensemble is an artist in residency program run by the Oceania Center for Arts Culture and Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific's Facility of Arts Law and Education. The Ensemble is a collection of 12-18 members of the renowned Pasifika Voices Choir, formally known as the Malaga Singers.

The Choir was established and led by the current director Igelese Ete in 2007 after the successful season of his original Pacific Musical Production ‘Malaga – The Journey’.

With this Vision the Pasifika Voices Ensemble have travelled around Fiji, Pacific, Australia, Norway, Scotland, Denmark and Brussels - performing at varying levels with the mission to inspire, empower & uplift through Pacific Performing Arts.

Their recent trip to Europe where they performed another original production Moana – The Rising of the Sea’, carrying the strong message of climate change and its negative impact of the Pacific Islands, which was received with standing ovations & rave reviews.

The Pasifika Voices Choir and its Ensemble is built upon the rationale that the Creative arts can inspire and empower audiences & artist, and in this spirit the vocal ensemble continues to strive for excellence through the creative arts and push for credible and positive change in nations of the Pacific and the world.

2014 - Hope Centre, Brisbane Australia
Cast: 16 Pasifika Voices Choir.
2011 - Prince Charles Park in Nadi, FIJI
Cast: 60 Pasifika Voices Members.
2010 - Civic Centre in Suva FIJI
Cast: 100 Pasifika Voices and Conservatorium of Music Students
2010 -  Wellington Events Centre, , New Zealand
Cast: 100 High School/Secondary School Students
2009 - Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua, Wellington New Zealand
Cast: 100 High School/Secondary School Students
2006 -  Civic Centre in Suva FIJI
Cast: 100 Pacific University Students
2002 - Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand
Cast: 350 High School Leavers/First Year University Students aimed for the Pacific Students
2001 - Auckland Town Hall Auditorium, New Zealand
Cast: 350 High School Leavers/First Year University Students aimed for the Pacific Students
1999 - Christchurch Town Hall Auditorium, Christchurch, New Zealand
Cast: 300 Pacific youth from Secondary Schools in Christchurch, NZ
1998 - Te Papa (Museum of NZ), Wellington, New Zealand
Cast: 500 Pacific Youth from members of Secondary Schools in Wellington, NZ