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Te Ku Te Whe Remix Features Top Artists


Te Ku Te Whe Remix Features Top Artists

Groundbreaking album Te Ku Te Whe is being remixed using the diverse talents of a range of leading New Zealand artists and producers.

Art music label Rattle is collaborating with artists and producers including Salmonella Dub, Pitch Black, SJD, Stinky Jim, Sola Rosa, The Nomad, Warren Maxwell (ex Trinity Roots) and Epsilon Blue to produce the remix of the original Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunn’s album which was released by Rattle 11 years ago.

At the time, Te Ku Te Whe was a landmark album bringing the sounds of pre-European Maori instruments to the fore.
Rattle label manager Tim Gummer says the remixed album will retain the feel of the original and “open new windows for more people to experience music by Hirini and Richard.

“Before we released the original album, many traditional Maori instruments were confined to museums and the memories of kaumatua and kuia.

“Te Ku Te Whe brought the sound of waiata, together with the purerehua, the puturino and the koauau into the musical consciousness of people throughout the country and the sound of these instruments has since become an essential part of our bi-cultural identity.”

Tim says the traditional Maori instruments will still be the core focus of the remix album.

Mixing of the first tracks for the remix is nearing completion and Rattle aims to release the album later this year.

Rattle is an art music label known for releasing contemporary composers, jazz and ‘world’ music.


the artists

Hirini Melbourne is from Tuhoe and Ngati Kahungunu. A writer of stories, a composer, singer and academic, Hirini is a significant figure in the revival of the Maori language, with dozens of his now classic waiata sung in classrooms throughout Aotearoa.
Hirini’s early musical experimentation soon extended to a fascination with the traditional Maori instruments which he had initially seen only in museums. He subsequently met Richard Nunns, and since 1989 the two have regularly performed together on marae, and in galleries, in concerts and in festivals such as WOMAD and the NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS.
As Associate Professor Te Tari Maori at the University of Waikato, he was a respected scholar and his prolific writings form the core of Maori language sections in libraries throughout the country. A member of the NZ Film Commission and of the NZ Music Commission, Hirini also composed music for various festivals, productions and orchestras. He served with Te Waka Toi and on the Arts Board of Creative NZ. His extensive knowledge of te reo, the history of Tuhoe, and of music has enhanced the profile of Maori arts.
Hirini died early in 2003 after a year long battle with cancer.

Richard Nunns has been researching and performing on traditional Maori instruments for many years. He has performed solo and with Hirini Melbourne on marae throughout the country, as well as in galleries, concerts and on ceremonial occasions, including the opening of Te Papa.
His musical and ethno-musicological expertise has seen him perform around the world. As well as authoring literature about the instruments, he has performed with such varied artists as Moana and the Moahunters, Deborah Wai Kapohe, Pitch Black, Evan Parker, Marilyn Crispell, Alexa Still, Mike Nock, the NZ String Quartet, The NZSO and film projects including Lord of the Rings. He has appeared on a number of Rattle releases, including Tühonohono. with Judy Bailey and Steve Garden.

the original recording
The Te Kü Te Whë sessions are now the stuff of legend – and we’re here to say that it’s all true. The label planned for three weeks of recording. To our horror, Hirini and Richard talked us DOWN to one week, and in the event the project was in the can in a day and a half.
a continuing story
The original Te Kü Te Whë has found its way across cultural boundaries to local music listeners, to overseas visitors, and has become the de-facto definitive album of pre-european Maori instruments music. Te Kü Te Whë has been the soundtrack for countless TV and radio productions and more recently could be heard woven into the aural fabric of the whalesong in Whalerider. The album was awarded a gold disc in 2002.
And Te Kü Te Whë has been sampled – all too frequently, without the permission or acknowledgement of the artists.
So we’re taking the initiative directly to find artists who we feel will be able to find a new context and audience for Hirini’s and Richard’s Music, which will honour the original wairua of this music.

the label

Rattle draws together a sound that is of the Pacific, embodying the heritage of its indigenous peoples and of those who have followed.
Inspired by the contemporary labels of the northern hemisphere, brings new music from Aotearoa, New Zealand to a wide audience. Not a classical, 'world music', or a jazz label, nonetheless Rattle presents artists from all of these streams.
Recordings span from the innovative melodic percussion of FROM SCRATCH, to haunting pre-European Maori instruments, through to dynamic contemporary classical pieces. Constantly pushing at musical boundaries, this is music engaging head and heart.
The discs typically feature unique instrumentation. From the densely textured guitars of GITBOX, through the ambience of Te Ku Te Whe, the hand-made percussion of FROM SCRATCH, to Dan Poynton's 'gently' prepared piano.

- Rattle releases have won NZ Classical Album of the Year in two out of three consecutive years.
- Rattle artists’ compositions are performed and/or recorded by KRONOS QUARTET, MICHAEL BRECKER, EVELYN GLENNIE and the BBC SCOTTISH ORCHESTRA.
- Te Ku Te Whe, the definitive album of Maori instrumental music, has sales currently nudging gold record levels.
- European interest in New Zealand contemporary music is on the rise – as exemplified by “New Music, New Zealand” festivals in Amsterdam and Edinburgh last year.

“Big respect to Rattle, a record company which has been releasing New Zealand recordings ...beyond the regimented lines of classical and contemporary boxes for some years now.” – MARK AMERY, Pavement Magazine

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