One simply can’t quantify the value of Richard’s contribution, not only to music and the arts in general, but also to our sense of identity as New Zealanders. Of course, he would dismiss such comments as overblown hokum, but anyone who has had the good fortune to work with or simply know Richard will attest to the truth of these words.
The ‘utterance’ recording proved to be Richard’s last. A few weeks later his illness compelled him to pack his wonderful collection of taonga pūoro away permanently, instruments that for decades were an extension of his body, his breathe, his heart, and his soul.
This album is therefore the culmination of a lifetime of passionate commitment to an artistic discipline on one hand, and deeply held beliefs and hope on the other – a philosophical, cultural, creative, and deeply personal journey that was in essence a selfless act of giving.
One is tempted to say that Richard didn’t choose taonga pūoro ... taonga pūoro chose him.
The combined musical experience shared by Richard, Natalia Mann and David Long, enabled them to engage in a musical dialogue at a very high level, then to extend themselves further. Natalia puts it perfectly when she says, “While the recording was a physical challenge for Richard, he more than made up for it with the essential artistry and conception that has resonated throughout all of his work: the courage to walk into unknowing … and to hang out there.” As David says, “beauty is not always easy to achieve with abstract music.”
It is our very great pleasure to present one of our most beautiful albums.
- Perilous Knowledge 03:22
- Old Shadows 06:29
- Spider Shell 00:45
- Upper Circle, Lower Case 02:53
- Celestial Dog 04:50
- Mercury 02:12
- The Nearest Clear Liquid 02:04
- We Died Once 01:57
- City of Green 04:19
- Hidden Cameras 01:54
- Begin Again 05:46