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Tui Award Winner Releases Maori Language Album

31 May 2004

Tui Award Winner Releases Maori Language Album

Singer-songwriter Whirimako Black is tipped to set a new benchmark in contemporary Maori music with the launch of her much-anticipated third album by Mai Music today (31/05/04).

'Tangihaku' presents the Auckland-based musician in an intimate recording with acoustic guitarist Joel Haines - younger brother of Kiwi jazz star Nathan Haines - and her long-time collaborator, Justin Kereama, on taonga puoro (traditional instruments).

The album is based on a collection of poems written by her mother, Anituatua Black, and sister, Rangitunoa Black, set to music composed by Whirimako and her sister, and subsequently arranged for these sessions by Joel Haines.

Of Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Ranginui, Kahungunu, Te Whakatohea, Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Te Arawa, and Ngati Awa descent, Whirimako won Best Maori Language Album at the 2001 NZ Music Awards for her debut album. 'Hinepukohurangi: Shrouded in the Mist' is now approaching gold sales status despite being independently released.

Her second album, 'Hohou Te Rongo: Cultivate Peace', which Whirimako recorded and released herself last year, has sold more than 5000 units, while two of her tracks received a worldwide audience on the '1 Giant Leap' recording project.

Mai Music general manager Victor Stent - who co-produced 'Tangihaku' along with Chris Macro - says the album's concept takes the listener on an inspirational 'musical journey' into the Ureweras.

"The instrumentation and arrangement is consciously spare and ambient allowing the exquisite sound of Whirimako's rich and evocative vocals to flow around every note - and that's what makes this album such a highly satisfying acoustic experience," Victor says.

"The outstanding vocals and guitar work are faithfully captured - close-up and intimate, to create an absorbingly 'real' listening experience. Sophisticated yet exquisitely simple melodies wrap themselves effortlessly around each of the poems . each is unique, extraordinary and truly memorable!"

'Tangihaku' is released by Mai Music - part of the Mai Media stable of companies - and is distributed by Out There Distribution.


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