For me this is a major work-in-progress; an acknowledgement of my pākeha whakapapa (European ancestry); an inspiration for new music (a mostly folk style seemed fitting); a window into the culture of the time period and a vicarious travel experience (plans to visit Scotland in 2020 were ruined by the pandemic); a family precedent for DIY outsider art that puts fiffdimension in a deeper context; and gives me renewed appreciation for the beauty and musicality of the English (and Scots) language.
“T’were a noble sight to see the mighty men of old, who bled that their countries might be free from the tyrants’ fatal hold – yet I’d deem it a nobler sight by far to behold the sons of the harp & lyre!
“[…] If aught can claim a spirit’s admiration, Sure it must be this beautiful creation“
águas brilhantes (or ‘glistening waters’ in English) is the Portuguese translation of Wairarapa, the Māori name of the region where I live. Several of my pākeha ancestors arrived here in the 19th century.
Much of the music is inspired by two of my great-great-grandfathers – John Collie (1834-1893), a Scottish poet, who helped build the Remutaka incline railway; and Manuel Bernard (1847-1928), who left the Azores islands, as a teenaged stowaway on a whaling ship and ended up in Masterton. It’s also a torch-passing to the next generation – recorded with nephews Hans and Rhys, and niece Celeste.
Also ft literal garage rock with Antony Milton and David Heath (the Troubled Times); duos with James Robinson, Dr Emit Snake-Beings, Campbell Kneale, and Nat da Hatt; side trips to Fiji; an interspecies duet with Oscar (a huntaway); and solo instrumentals and live reinterpretations of oldies.
Includes previously unreleased recordings, download-only bonus tracks, and excerpts from the albums
“Worth searching out coz this lo-fi singer/songwriter oddball has a unique take on the genre. He’s pissed off, a tad fucked up (as usual), but not full of lugubrious self-pity (as unusual) and is happy to get raucous & obnoxious in just the right kinda way.” – Chris Knox
In December 1998 I self-released my debut album . Scratched Surface was a teenage no-budget lo-fi postpunk pakeha singer-songwriter album from the Taranaki, Aotearoa underground, recorded on analogue reel-to-reel tape.
I burned it on CDR and sent out copies to anyone who would listen. It was the opening salvo in a recording career that’s gone on for over 20 years now, occasionally dismissed, largely ignored, gloriously unsuccessful. A career nonetheless; I’ve made an album most years since.
20 years on I’m still creating – here’s some of what I’ve done more recently:
Ritual Remnants’ is an exhibition by snakebeings using leftover objects, failed electronic projects and discarded materials from the process of designing and making an electronic instruments which combines Gamelan musical structures with the rhythms of Morse code.
The objects were made during the art science residency in Port Chalmers between March and September 2018.