Sad news this morning, to learn of the passing of musician and Taonga Puoru advocate, mentor and educator Richard Nunns. As the saying goes: a mighty Totara has fallen.
Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane
The totara has fallen in the forest of Tane
Maori Proverbs, Whakataukī: A totara is a huge tree that grows for hundreds of years. For one of them to fall is a great tragedy. This proverb is said when someone of importance passes away. The Totara is a native tree of New Zealand.
Teao Maori News “Nunns, Māori musician Hirini Melbourne and artist Brian Flintoff were renowned for reviving interest in traditional Māori instruments or taonga pūoro. Together they researched and recorded instruments held in museum collections, many of which had not been played for over a century, rediscovering their unique sounds and techniques to play them..”
Back in 2014 I had the pleasure of contributing sound design to a beautiful documentary: Voices of the Land: Nga Reo o te Whenua “Paul Wolffram’s fascinating and eloquent doco about Māori instrumental traditions accompanies Richard Nunns and Horomona Horo as they perform in a series of remarkable South Island wilderness settings.”
Here is the trailer for the film:
Paul Wolffram has now made his beautiful documentary available for pay per view at vimeo: