August 2016 Is Māori Music Month

From this year onwards, August will turn into Te Marama Pūoro Waiata Māori Māori Music Month.

The new celebration and awareness month was initiated by Ellison Huata,  the executive director of the Waiata Māori Music Awards.

Huata hopes Māori Music Month will generate activity for artists in August each year, and bridge the gap between NZ Music Month in May, Matariki & Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori in June/July, and the Waiata Māori Awards in September.

During Māori Music Month young performers will be mentored by established artists through events in Wellington, Auckland, Waikato the Gold Coast, Australia, which will last one week at each location.

Ambassadors include Maisey Rika, Rob Ruha, Tama Waipara and Taisha Tari, who will conduct workshops in schools, focusing on taonga pūoro, song writing, song composition and vocal training.

Māori Music Month will launch at the National Secondary Schools’ Kapa Haka competition in Hawke’s Bay on July 28.

Waiata Māori Music Expo 2017

September 9, 9am to 2pm,  Hawke’s Bay Opera House Plaza, Hastings

Waiata Māori Music Awards 2017

September 9, 6pm, Hastings Sports Arena, Hastings

Murray McNabb: The Way In Is The Way Out

I have to preface this review by stating that I’m a huge fan of Murray McNabb, and I was ecstatic when I heard that Sarang Bang Records were going to release a tribute to his music.

‘The Way In Is The Way Out: The Music of Murray McNabb’ is a sumptuous album presented in several mediums from digital files to limited edition vinyl, curated by McNabb’s friend and collaborator Gianmarco Liguori. Excitingly it features mostly previously unreleased music (all but three tracks are unreleased). Darren McShane of Earwig Studios mastered the album, and as usual his work is excellent.

What I’m reviewing is the limited edition two LP set, the cover of which features one of McNabb’s paintings and photos of him. The album avoids traditional liner notes, instead features a short introduction by Liguori, an interview with McNabb from just before his death in 2013, and a wealth of quotes from four different interviews. The first LP features McNabb’s contributions to jazz in both his own and other groups. This disc includes collaborations between 1980s jazz supergroup Space Case with the equally awesome Auckland Neophonic Orchestra (which begs the question – why were these tracks never released? They’re amazing!), and work from the groups Dr Tree, Modern Times, Hard Jazz, McNabb’s trio and sextet from the 1970s and 1990s.

The second LP features his more experimental work, primarily on solo piano or keyboards/synthesisers and in the realm of electronic music with only one group track from Salon Kingsadore. It’s fascinating to hear the directions he was exploring that were so different from his commercial work, and in some cases so different from his work in jazz.

The music throughout the album is frankly awesome, a tribute not only to McNabb but also to all the great musicians that he worked with. Many of the tracks selected for this tribute album are from the 1970s and 1980s and they sound just as fresh, original, and modern today as they did 30 or 40 years ago when they were composed and recorded. It’s music that has not dated and would easily fit in with the best of current New Zealand jazz. It’s also a historically important album documenting collaborations and recordings that new audiences would otherwise not know existed. This album is an absolute must have for any New Zealand music fan, and an important addition to collections of anyone who is a fan of New Zealand jazz.

• Aleisha Ward

What Can The Music Industry Learn From Pokemon Go?

Over at Hypebot.comGeorge Howard, an Associate Professor of Music Business/Management at Berklee College of Music, has presented the idea of Pokemon Go ’s success being attributed to its social, fun, and competitive (SFC) framework. According to Howard, this SFC formula could be indicative of a breakthrough in regards to making a product internationally successful and recognised. Pokemon Go’s huge success he posits, may present a golden opportunity for the music industry to hop on this SFC bandwagon and create a music-related product that could take the world by storm.

“Even while I’m delighted to watch this articulation of my SFC theory taking over the world, I’m equally distressed by the fact… we really have not seen a music-related product truly explode in this manner. Objectively, we should have. In other words, where has our Pokémon GO for music been, and/or when will our Pokémon GO for music emerge?” he asks in an article published on Hypebot.

Aside from his Berklee position Howard is a co-founder of Music Audience Exchange,  and a firm believer in a product’s success being determined by its ability to  cater towards the three elements of his SFC theory.  “…If I can’t quickly determine that a product passes the “Social, Fun, and Competitive Test,” I’m not interested.”

Howard’s article goes on to discuss the potential for the music industry to implement his SFC formula, in order to create a new and current music-related product that will not only attain success, but longevity.

“…If some music-related product does not emerge and capture the world’s attention – even if only a fraction of the attention that Pokemon Go – via an artful Social, Fun, and Competitive implementation – that presents a problem…My sense, however, is that we are approaching some degree of breakthrough.”

It’s an interesting theory: after all, in our ever-advancing technological world, paying attention to trends with apps and products is highly important in order to gauge what will be successful in today’s digital society.

Read the full article here.

The Rubics Win 2016 Battle Of The Bands

Auckland bands cleansweep the Battle of the Bands 
2016 National Finals – The Rubics win!

The Demon Energy Battle of the Bands 
2016 Championship came to its two-night header over the weekend with over 30 bands talking to the Kings Arms stage on Friday and Saturday July 22/23.

With the shows starting early and scheduled to run through until the wee hours it was a marathon weekend, under the watchful eye of resident audio engineer Mark Peterson, and delivered a suitably long list of category winners.

Third place went to popular Auckland musicians’ band Harvey Knows A Killer, with the second place prize going to another quality Auckland alt-rock four-piece, Royal Jackets. The big winners for 2016 turned out to be The Rubics – namely Rob Jatulan Jr, Brendon Thomas, Zel Kust, Jason Bell, Leo and Simon Opit – who hail from Auckland’s North Shore. Continue reading The Rubics Win 2016 Battle Of The Bands

Anonymouz: Resample Guåhan

“Resample Guåhan” is a 20 and a half minute long soundscape composition by South Auckland Urban/ Pacific/ Avant Garde Music Producer ‘Anonymouz‘ (Matthew Faiumu Salapu), created entirely out of audio samples recorded on location from the various natural environments and performance events taking place around Guam at the recent 12th International Pacific Arts Festival (NZM June/July 2016).

The soundscape, intricately constructed using urban Hip Hop music production techniques as well as an EQ filtering method where he is able to tune any location sound recording into a tuned, playable keyboard instrument is also accompanied by visuals shot on location by international award winning videographer Tuki Laumea, assisted by Junior Nanai.

The sampled audio recordings have also been loosely arranged thematically and chronologically to the story of I’iga Pisa, one of the original ten ‘Mau a Pule’ Samoan “matai’s” (chiefs) who was exiled by the German government to Saipan in 1909, before he daringly voyaged solo across to Guam to further educate himself before returning back to Samoa many years later. He was the only surviving member of the original exiled group to witness Samoa’s Independence Day in 1962, a fitting story that coincidentally parallels the current plight of the indigenous Chamorro people of Guåhan/ Guam who will soon be voting for their own.