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WOMAD New Zealand 2012: New Artist Biographies

Press Release – Womad

He Rangi Paihurarere is a collaboration of well known and emerging Maori musicians who have joined together to record their interpretations of waiata produced and composed by the late Dr Hirini Melbourne. Dr Hirini Melbourne was a well-known composer of …WOMAD New Zealand 2012: New Artist Biographies (Announced January 16 2012)

He Rangi Paihuarere (New Zealand)

He Rangi Paihurarere is a collaboration of well known and emerging Maori musicians who have joined together to record their interpretations of waiata produced and composed by the late Dr Hirini Melbourne. Dr Hirini Melbourne was a well-known composer of Maori music and was credited with the revival of taonga puoro. He Rangi Paihuarere artists navigate through old waiata, lyrics, and the use of taonga puoro and take on their own creative direction. In the combining of traditional and contemporary instruments, each artists’ interpretation is different and corresponds with their particular musical style from soul to jazz; hip hop to traditional Maori. Artists include Ngatapa Black, Tama Waipara, Ria Hall, Katera Maihi, Maytreya, Mel Davis, Majik Paora, and taonga puoro composer Horomona Horo.

Shogun Orchestra (New Zealand)

After several years abroad, touring, travelling and honing his craft, Wellington born saxophonist and composer Lucien Johnson has returned to New Zealand to create The Shogun Orchestra. The orchestra is a supergroup of Wellington musicians featuring Joe Lindsay on trombone and Toby Laing on trumpet, both of Fat Freddy’s Drop; Chris Yeabsley on organ and his brother Dan on alto sax and Paul Hoskin on drums (from Twinset and The Eggs); Justin “Firefly” Clarke on guitar, and Mexican import Adan Tijerina on congas. Fusing afro-beat, calypso, jazz and Ethio-funk styles Johnson was particularly influenced by three months spent in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Many of the pieces Johnson has written have been inspired by his Haitian voyage, and the band plays several Haitian folk songs.

Toninho Ferragutti and Bebê Kramer (Brazil)

Brazilian culture and popular music is inexorably tied to the accordion. Called many names through different provinces across Brazil – sanfona, concertina, harmonica – the accordion is the most versatile and adaptable of melodic instrumental voices. Alessandro “Bebe” Kramer is acknowledged as a champion of the music from southern Brazil. With his dexterous accordion playing, he masters the spread of distinctive rhythms from the Rio Grande do Sul state – mazzurcas, xotes, vaneroes and chamames. Toninho Ferragutti embraces a different expression of the same instrument. Born in south-eastern Brazil but a long-time resident of Sao Paulo, Toninho has learned the scope of accordion possibility, from the soundtrack of gypsy parties to orchestral performance. Together, the duo presents a comprehensive picture of where the accordion sits in Brazilian music today. Performing with a five-piece backing ensemble, they show off the accordion’s intimacy with the acoustic guitar, the 10-string caipira guitar, the cavaquinho (four-string dwarf guitar) and the range of percussion that drives such distinctive Brazilian rhythms as frevo, maracatu, rancheiras and chorinhos with waltzes, ballads and polkas.
Hear Toninho Ferragutti and Bebe Kramer

TORI Ensemble (Korea)

‘Tori’ is a term that explains “local style” in Korean traditional music, although the Tori Ensemble seeks to fuse its particularly haunting musical dialect with other toris in music through bold collaborations and improvisation. The quartet, founded in 2007, is led by Heo Yoon-Jeong, a master of geomungo (a Korean six-string zither). She is capably supported by Min Young-chi, who plays the daeguem (Korean transverse bamboo flute) and janggu (Korean hourglass drum) with exceptional artistic skill and feeling. Vocalist Kang Kwon-soon has been designated Korea’s “official successor of the Intangible Asset” for performing the jeongga, Korea’s revered classical lyric song. Lee Suk-joo is a descendant of a traditional musician family and plays the piri (a bamboo oboe), exhibiting great skill in traditional, contemporary music and also improvisation. Indeed, this focus on improvisation as an important aspect of Korean traditional music and attempts to create a unique language through Asian intuition and musical idioms. TORI Ensemble has taken this notion a step further by embracing other musical nuances into the Korean sound.

Hear TORI Ensemble

Wayang Kulit with Gamelan Padhang Moncar (Java/New Zealand)

Traditional Javanese shadow puppet show presented by eighth generation Javanese puppeteer, Joko Susilo of Dunedin and Gamelan Padhang Moncar (Javanese gamelan ensemble) from the NZ School of Music, Wellington. Wayang kulit is a sophisticated art form that traditionally runs all night from 8pm to 5am and appeals to a wide range of the community, both adults and children. It features exquisitely carved leather shadow puppets to tell tales from one of the traditional Indian epics, the Mahabharata or the Ramayana, with local references and jokes that make the shows relevant and topical. The puppets are of extraordinary beauty – not only are they delicately carved, making exquisite shadows, but they are also painted brilliantly so that it is just as rewarding to watch the show from the puppeteer’s side of the screen as the shadow side. It is fascinating to watch the puppeteer’s skill in manipulating the puppets to make them do flips, fight battles, go on journeys, and enact love scenes – vocal skills are equally important as the puppeteer also sings and does all the narration and dialogue, including cracking jokes.


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