Aug 31 2014
Clearly I love Tiki as I contribute to this blog, but I have to say one thing about the Tiki culture I truly love is the music! It transports me to a kinder, gentler period of time.
Tiki music came about from artists like Les Baxter, Arthur Lyman, and Martin Denny. These talented artists blended the Tiki idea through jazz music dotted with Polynesian, Asian, and Latin instruments. The “tropical” themes that emerged created the Exotica genre. Martin Denny described the musical style as “a combination of the South Pacific and the Orient…what a lot of people imagined the islands to be like…it’s pure fantasy though.” I think that pretty much sums it up perfectly!
This music blended the elements of Afro-Cuban rhythms, unusual and unique instrumentations, wildlife and environmental sounds, and lush romantic themes (and beauties) from Hollywood films. It is somehow sweet and sensual rolled into one wonderful harmony.
The age of Tiki music rode a wave of popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This was due to the fact that Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959! Once Hawaii was inducted as a new state, Tiki hut bars and restaurants popped up around the continental United States like pretty, pink, drink umbrellas. Although the craze may have died a bit, I think the love of Tiki is still popular today, and living on with blogs like this one!
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