Hirini Melbourne & Richard Nunns with Aroha Yates-Smith
Te Hekenga-a-rangi was a finalist in the 2006 New Zealand Music Awards
Composed nine years after Te Ku te Whe, Te Hekenga-a-rangi brings the female essence into nga taonga puoro. Aroha both sings beautifuly and brings a profound knowledge of female spirituality and goddesses to the music. It is an intensely spiritual album. Te Hekenga-a-rangi refers to an ancient people said to have originated in the heavens who then occupied Aotearoa. Their spirit is in the shells and stones – and in these seamlessly melded evocative songs and inventive sonic structures.
The CD comes with a companion DVD containing performances and interviews.
The precise and lexical beauty of Richard Nunns and Hirini Melbourne
The story of the two musicians is well told in a documentary (directed by Keith Hill) that comes on a DVD bundled into …te hekenga-a-rangi. Among other things, they tell how learning the new-old instruments not only revealed old sounds, but old voices, and that revealing old voices also revealed old words.
They tell how mortal humans are not the only audiences for these lexical sounds, but also that marae have appreciated the iteration of them at graves and burial sites, where these musical, lyrical voices have been silent – in some cases for hundreds of years – and sorely in need of korero.
And yes, you too will find this music will communicate with parts you never knew existed, by means of timbres, orchestrations and arrangements you never thought possible. James Littlewood, www.publicaddress.net
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