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“
Happy new year – here’s our first new music release of 2023 – available for download or limited-edition cassette, courtesy of Antony Milton‘s Smalltown Electron label:
The first physical format release from Masterton trio The Troubled Times (and the debut release for Small Town Electron as a label) is a loud and noisy nocturnal romp through the hills and onto the gravel back roads of one of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s least visited regions.
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