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
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. Continue reading “Solitude”→
HERE’S a health to my cronies where’er they reside, Whether this side or that o’ yon big rowin’ tide ; I care na what country or kingdom they claim, Be they English or Irish to me it’s the same, Gif their hearts to a glass o’ gude whisky incline, I instantly class them as “Cronies o’ mine.”
Awa wi’ yon nabob purse-proud o’ his gear, Neither he nor his wealth hae charms for us here; Awa wi’ yon fop wi’ his clear headed cane, A bit trip through the warld, it’s use may explain; But welcome my cronies wherever ye be, To join in this gude reekin’ bumper wi’ me.
A ﬁg for the wealth that this warld can gie, We naething brought here, sae we’ve naething to lea; The farmer wi’ ousen an’ acres galore, Has his crosses just now, an’ may sune count on more; Then come here, my cronies, let’s kick awa care, As lang’s we’ve a groat or a shilling to spare.