Best Mäori Album finalist, NZ Music Awards, 2004
Te Hekenga-ä-rangi celebrates the life and work of Hirini Melbourne, who with long-time musical partner Richard Nunns recorded this album just before Hirini’s death. This CD/DVD package has new instruments, new techniques, and the crucial additional element of the female voice (sensitively provided by Aroha Yates-Smith). The DVD offers unique video material featuring performances, interviews, and demonstrations of the instruments.
Te Hekenga-ä-rangi features:
Te Hekenga-ä-rangi were an ancient people, said to have originated in the heavens and then to have occupied this land, Aotearoa. The name encapsulates the sense of voices or sounds being relayed from the spiritual realm, from the very gods themselves. Embodied in stones, shells and nature itself are female deities whose stories are woven into this journey of song. Strands of this recital encompass Täne’s ascent to the heavens and his eventual return to Papatūänuku.
"Te Hekenga-ä-rangi is the follow up to 1994's Te Ku Te Whe, the groundbreaking album from Melbourne and Nunns that consisted of music made entirely on taonga pūoro - traditional Mäori instruments. But whereas Te Ku Te Whe was an album of songs that were raw and masculine, this is a gentler work where instruments have been layered, sounds have been looped and tracks generally run into each other. This sees the duo, plus vocalist Aroha Yates-Smith, exploring the sonic potential of the instruments in a manner that often dispenses with traditional song structures and gives the feel of one continuous piece of music. The overall effect is almost ambient without resorting to new ageisms and is at times haunting and extremely moving. Elegantly packaged as are all Rattle releases, this CD also comes with a DVD of footage shot during the recording and is a fitting celebration of the life of Hirini Melbourne who died shortly after recording finished in January . Haere ra Hirini."
This project was made possible with the support of Te Mangi Paho and Creative New ZealandProduction, Recording and Arrangements: Steve Garden
Video Production and Direction: Keith Hill
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