the opening track from Ruasagavulu
This short warmup improv is based on an Indian scale, inspired by Dr Emit Snake-Beings‘ travels to Kerala in India, and harmonium lessons in Suva.
There’s an Indian influence throughout the album, as several sections are based on drones and modal improv (rather than the chord changes)… though this is not a traditional Indian album, we’ve borrowed ideas to inform our own experiments.
The temple in the photo is Sri Siva Subramaniya in Nadi. It’s built in the Dravidian style from southern India, which is also found in Singapore and Malaysia.
In contrast to other Pacific Island countries, Fiji has a large – almost half – population of Indian descent. Indians came to Fiji in the 19th century, as indentured labourers to work the sugar cane plantations.
The following videos are made in India, courtesy of www.snakebeings.co.nz
Written in 1856, but timely perhaps?
This poem is the first of 44 pieces in the book Poems & Lyric by John Collie.
It was written by my great-great-grandfather in Scotland. 164 years later, living in 21st century coronavirus lockdown NZ, we’ve all had to bring back solitude. Creating music’s become a solitary pursuit again (or else a virtual one). Adapting this poem gave the chance for a 12-minute acoustic epic whose time had come (again).
OH give me near some swelling stream to stray, 0r tread the windings of some pathless wood, For I am wearied of the bustling day, And long to meet thee, gloomy Solitude: That I with thee may climb those shelfy steeps, Which frown majestic o’er the boiling deeps. Read the rest of this entry »
THE sweet breath of summer blows fresh o’er each plain,
The woods have resumed their lost grandeur again;
By fountain and streamlet the wild ﬂowers are springing.
And the breath of the heather bell sweetens the breeze,
And the old stormy ocean lies slumbering in peace;
And the wild bees are humming around the wild ﬂowers,
Afar above earth the lark proudly soars;
The bleat of the lamb on the moss-cover’d hill,
The sound of the shepherd’s pipe jocund and shrill,
All tell in a language most striking and plain,
T hat summer, fair summer, is reigning again,
The old face of nature her smiles has put on,
And the blustery appearance of winter has ﬂown.
The difficult third album – recorded during a time of intense introspection in 2002. I locked myself in my room in Wellington for all of November with an analogue 4-track cassette recorder.The results rapidly put an end to my promising New Zealand music career!
In 2002, a year whose digits are an anagram of this one’s, I locked myself in my room for a month of self-isolation.
It had nothing to do with a pandemic!
Film footage by my father, Alastair Edwards, in Nadi and around Viti Levu in 1976.
It’s from a couple of years before I was born.
My Dad’s interest in film (then video) and photography was one of the key influences on my own travel and videomaking. He was doing this long before youtube or instagram!
I miss you Dad…
The title ‘Huia Vortex’ refers to the location where the track was recorded, in Huia, a small village on the outskirts of west Auckland.
It’s not necessarily related to ‘Swansong (for the Huia)‘ (2004), the second album by The Winter, an electro-acoustic trio improvisation in tribute to the extinct New Zealand bird the huia by Dave Edwards, Mike Kingston, and Simon Sweetman. Its 19-minute final track remains an underrated fiffdimension epic. [send us your review]
Poem by John Collie (1834-1893),
from his book Poems and Lyrics in the English and Scotch Dialects, published in Banffshire, Scotland in 1856
John Collie emigrated to New Zealand in 1858. This poem seems to anticipate his leaving Scotland forever, to start a new life in a new country on the opposite side of the world.