Film chronicles pianist’s return to Rapa Nui to build a free music school

Posted on: March 10, 2021

Pianist Mahani Teave was nine years old “when the first piano arrived on her remote island … Rapa Nui, or Easter Island … 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile,” writes Tom Huizenga in Tuesday’s (3/9) National Public Radio. “ ‘I had to go … to this lady’s house and see this piano,’ Teave told filmmaker John Forsen, who directed Song of Rapa Nui, a new documentary…. Her first lessons on that piano … inspired the young musician to eventually leave her island home for years of study…. Her debut album was released earlier this year.… The memories of her youthful hunger to learn music haunted her.” When Teave moved back, “the island lacked a single piano. After a three-year struggle … a pair of upright pianos were dismantled and flown to Rapa Nui in 2011…. With donated land, instruments and crowd-sourced funding, Teave, along with her partner Enrique Icka, a construction engineer, broke ground on their [free] Toki School of Music in 2014…. In 2016, the Toki School of Music officially opened…. ‘It’s a space we would have liked to have had as children to study,’ she says.”