When I enter into the process of arranging a traditional song, I take comfort in the lineage, the generations of singers, the hardened, gnarled sinew of the melody, over time… Because the song exists as a living entity of its own, I can literally sit back and listen to the wishes it has for us. Of course, they come through the lens of what I believe to be possible, but most often, the vocal parts present themselves and there is a sensation of revelation – quite the opposite of thinking. Making a moving image for the recording is much the same – while out walking, I can see things unfold in my minds eye, but once it is time for capture and I am with camera in hand, it is an entirely new process, where one follow leads and accept invitations… As if those ideas were just something to leave behind.
This arrangement was made for my grandmother, who taught me this song as a child – with her voice like a flute made of light. I remembered the feelings more than the words. This arrangement is also made for the eternal maiden within, who will always feel things to the fullest, and who enters into communion with the natural world each day – taking delight in the slightest of things.
Nothing purer than dew - Dew that does not last, But refracts a sunlight wonder, For those who do attend. Bird, leaves and promises to the wind! The capacity to lean into a body-soul encounter, All the while maintaining a body-soul sovereignty.
The new ACAPOLLiNATiONS album M/OTHER Tongue (2023) is a multi-lingual, compelling collection of colourful folklore songs, where archaic musical systems are reimagined for three vivacious voices. In this recording, Tui Mamaki (French-Kiwi), Chelsea Prastiti (Greek-Kiwi) and Sally Howe (Cook Island-Kiwi) interweave songs from their grandmothers – both genetic and imagined – with a bespoke repertoire issue of Tui Mamaki’s love affair with Bulgarian Folklore. Evocative melodies, stirringly close harmony and stories we all know – of longing, harvest and transcendence – heard anew.
Purchase the M/OTHER Tongue album (physical or digital) here
Get tickets for Sunday 12th March Album Release Concert here