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Te Hekenga-ä-rangi

Te Hekenga-ä-rangi

Hirini Melbourne & Richard Nunns with Aroha Yates-Smith



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:
Bowed Guitar, Empty Shotgun Shell, Hue, Hue Puru Hau, Hue Rara, Ipu Köorero, Karanga Weka, Köoauau, Küu, Pahu Pounamu, Panguru, Poiäawhiowhio, Porotiti, Püukäaea, Püumotomoto, Püupakapaka, Püutäatara, Putorino, Whänau Püutöorino Whanau, Rore, Röoria, Tumutumu.

Ko Te Hekenga-ä-rangi he iwi nö ngä rangi tühähä, nö ngä motu nei hoki, ä, ko ia tënei ko te ingoa nei; ki te rangona ngä reo nei, änö e hau mai ana ite takiwä, arä, he reo wairua, he reo atua tonu ia. E whäriki ake nei ngä korero mö ëtahi o ngä atua wähine e whakatinanatia ana i roto i te köhatu, i te pütätara, otirä i te taiao whänui tonu, tae noa hoki ki ngä pitopito körero mö Täne i tana kakenga ake ki ngä rangi tühähä me tana hekenga iho anö ki a Papatüänuku.

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. 

"The work of Melbourne and Nunns sounds like nothing else. Some of it is so small, so delicate you could break it just by turning up the volume. Some of it, so large it hardly fits in the house. A hybrid of masterful playing techniques is deployed on re-discovered, re-invented instruments..."

- James Littlewood, PUBLIC ADDRESS


"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 [2003]. Haere ra Hirini."
- Tony Parker, NZ MUSICIAN


RAT-DV010 (2003)

This project was made possible with the support of Te Mangi Paho and Creative New Zealand

Production, Recording and Arrangements: Steve Garden

Video Production and Direction: Keith Hill
Executive Production and Design: Tim Gummer
Photography: Maureen Lander, Tim Gummer




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