The ancient musical traditions of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori meet the evolving sounds of 21st century Jazz.
Richard Nunns, internationally acclaimed proponent of Taonga Puoro (literally ‘treasures of sound’), as heard on films such as ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Whalerider’ collaborates with leading NZ contemporary jazz group the Chris Mason-Battley Group.
Two distinct musical sensibilities explore their similarities and differences through improvisation. Mäori instrumentation and European jazz explore new territory within the evolving musical landscape of Aotearoa / New Zealand.
From intimate conversations between koauau (bone flute) and saxophone to dynamic, emotive group improvisations, this is music that alternatively lulls, lifts, moves, and surprises.
RICHARD NUNNS - Taonga Puoro
CHRIS MASON-BATTLEY – Soprano & Tenor Sax
DAVID LINES - Piano
GRAEME WEBB – Guitars / Guitar Synth
SAM GILES - Bass
STEVE GARDEN - Drums & Percussion
Richard Nunns is one of the leading exponents of taonga puoro – traditional Maori instruments. He has spent over 25 years working with the late Hirini Melbourne on the task of restoring these instruments to their rightful place as one of the key cultural and spiritual voices of Aotearoa / New Zealand. Richard has played in a wide range of settings from private cultural ceremonies to international music festivals. He has collaborated with pop, classical, and jazz musicians, including Marilyn Crispell, Evan Parker, Mike Nock, and the NZ Symphony Orchestra and has recorded for films such as Lord of the Rings and Whalerider. For more information about taonga puoro visit: http://www.radionz.co.nz/richardnunns/
The Chris Mason-Battley Group records and performs music which explores and reflects the open untamed beauty of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
More about CMBG at our other CD Baby pages: http://cdbaby.com/cd/cmbgroup1 & http://cdbaby.com/cd/cmbgroup2
Not many CD’s move you to tears one instant and make you dance the next. Not genre-crossing, genre-making, this is unlike any other album I’ve heard. There’s a deep beauty here, haunting and dark. The group plays and listens with a rare sensitivity and concentration, even when the mood is understated there's no loss of passion. The dialogue between Richard Nunns and Chris Mason-Battley imbues the disc with a timelessness and restrained intensity not found elsewhere. This is yet another New Zealand treasure from Rattle Records.
John Psathas (2004 Olympics Composer: http://www.johnpsathas.com/ )
“Richard Nunns lives in Nelson and plays Maori instruments all around the world. Recently he was in the United States playing with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Hine Put e Hue, a work by Gillian Whitehead written for his taonga puoro and their stringed instruments. The American audiences were enraptured. On Two Tides nuns joins up with the Auckland saxophonist Chris Mason-Battley and his group. Mason-Battley’s influences are clearly the likes of Jan Garbarek – ethereal, haunting poised and respectful. Rather than the standard jazz trip to the rainy streets of New York or Chicago this journey is through pine forests and dense bush. From the spiritual incantations of track one Two Tides rolls blissfully on.”
Kate Mead – music production manager, Concert FM
“The opening of this album is quite arresting: soprano sax, an ambient soundscape, taonga puoro and voices, a murmur that might or might not be te reo (maori language). Then a sudden drop into a gentle medium-tempo fusion beat - a hint of things to come on an album that largely succeeds in that difficult game, the combination of traditional instruments (in this instance, Maori) with contemporary forms, performance and technology. The keys to success here are the lightness and openness of the sound, equality of space given to improvisation on both traditional and modern instruments, and the subsuming of solo work to a collective sound. There are only a few moments where Nunn’s acoustic instruments come close to being relegated to an ambient role in what is still essentially a contemporary form of music making. Particularly striking is the “Two Worlds Suite” where a two-way conversation between Mason-Battley and Nunns develops seamlessly into a more fiery group improvisation and then resolves into a peaceful percussion-supported dialogue. Not quite world music, not quite te reo, not quite free improvisation, this album of collectively-developed moody, Aotearoa-flavoured pieces is a successful experiment that suggests there is more to come.”
Bruce Morley, New Zealand Musician Magazine, August 2006
“It was invigorating to hear such an innovative performance.. The audience, inspired to listen from a new perspective, was witness to that marvelous musical alchemy in which the result was much more than a simple sum of the parts.”
Stephen Gibbs SOUNZ (Centre for New Zealand Music)
“Two Tides couldn’t be more appropriately named. While taonga puoro are by no means ‘new’ to the contemporary New Zealand music scene, they are given new life in an album that fuses the ancient call of traditional Maori with jazz.
Released with the support of Creative New Zealand, Two Tides is the collaborative effort of the Chris Mason-Battley Group, a European jazz ensemble, and Richard Nunns – a leading exponent of taonga puoro or traditional Maori wind instruments.
Richard Nunns worked extensively with the late hirini Melbourne – over 25 years in fact, on the task of restoring taonga puoro as a key spiritual and cultural voice of New Zealand.
The Chris Mason-Battley Group has released two albums, the first of which was a finalist in the Jazz Album category of the 2000 New Zealand Music Awards. Together they have created an intimate dialogue between two very unlikely genres. Consistent with the title, the music mimics the rise and fall of tides, while possessing a dark, sometimes haunting intensity.
While it may not be everybody’s idea of easy listening, there is a raw beauty about the sound and if nothing else, the music, when played in the right setting could easily transcend time; slipping a keen listening ear back 150 years.”
Amelia Kapa – Tu Mai – May 06 (‘NZ’s leading indigenous lifestyle magazine’)