Timely release of album
For musician Moana Maniapoto, this year’s New Zealand Music Month is extra special.
The annual celebration of New Zealand music coincides with the release of her latest album Wha.
The Grey Lynn resident has recently returned home from Canada, where she has been attending an indigenous music and dance conference, as well as screening a documentary based on the legal controversy surrounding her name that is trademarked by a German company.
Also a law graduate, Moana says she prefers to focus on creating music rather than wrangling with intellectual property lawyers.
Wha is Moana’s fourth album in a career that began in 1990 with the release of Tahi.
And with almost 20 years’ experience in the business, she’s happy with the result.
“It’s like they’re little pieces of art in themselves that work well together,” she says.
Moana says she enjoys collaborating and performing with other artists, from indigenous kapa haka performers and composers to experimental musicians like Alastair Galbraith, who has built a treadlepowered glass harmonium – an instrument that produces “ancient eerie sounds”.
Both Galbraith and Moana have received Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Awards in recognition of their high levels of artistic achievement.
Moana says adding to music has to be fluid and is not as easy as it looks.
“It’s taken a long time to be confident in the art form to incorporate haka into your music.
“It’s not just an addon, but it must be used sparingly because it’s a powerful tool,” she says.
A track on the album called Te Apo, is one example. It was composed with the sounds of the 2005 Hong Kong protest against the World Trade Organisation in mind and incorporates haka and karanga.
Moana & the Tribe will be performing their new album with guests including Ruia Aperahama, at Galatos, tomorrow night.
A New Zealand tour is also planned, as well as a tour throughout Germany, Poland, Switzerland and Italy.
Wha is in stores this week. For more information see www.mo ananz.com.
– Carly Tawhiao is an AUT journalism
New release: Moana Maniapoto will perform at Galatos tomorrow night to release her latest album Wha.