Celebrated Aotearoa songwriters TE KAAHU (AKA Theia) and Delaney Davidson have come together this Matariki to share ‘I Ngooku Moemoeaa’ – a timeless and haunting waiata tangi.
Here’s the blurb:
The waiata captures the raw heartbreak of grief. “‘I Ngooku Moemoeaa’ is a poroporoaki – a eulogy to express the grief over the passing of a loved one,” says Theia (Waikato-Tainui, Ngaati Tiipaa). “Composed in metaphoric language, it nods to the traditional places the spirits of our dead travel to for their final rest,” she adds.
“Hoki wairua mai ki too uukaipoo e moe
– return to your true home and sleep”
It is no coincidence that ‘I Ngooku Moemoeaa’ comes at this time: “Matariki is the time of year when we farewell those who we have lost, so it feels fitting to release this waiata to coincide with this period in the hope that it can be of comfort to those who are grieving to help and usher their process,” says Theia.
The two award-winning artists came together to write and record ‘I Ngooku Moemoeaa’ during Delaney’s residency at Massey University in Pōneke in 2022.
“I have wanted to work with Theia for ages so I asked her to come be part of my residency at Massey for 2022. Hearing her album of TE KAAHU waiata was really inspirational so I hoped we’d find a space we could connect with that timeless magic.”
On working with Delaney, Theia says: “Lyrically and sonically we channeled the nostalgia that you hear on TE KAAHU. But it was important for me to feel that this waiata would be a gentle combination of both our styles and I feel that we really captured that.”
The beautiful artwork for ‘I Ngooku Moemoeaa’ was done by Pūtere – Landless Native (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe, Waitaha, Te Ātiawa).
‘I Ngooku Moemoeaa’ is available HERE
ABOUT TE KAAHU
TE KAAHU honours the craft and skill of Māori songwriting and storytelling and is the brainchild of singer and songwriter Theia (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Tīpa). Theia is a fierce proponent for the revitalisation of Māori language and culture, and through TE KAAHU she seeks to shine a light on the beauty and vulnerability in waiata Māori.
TE KAAHU’s debut album Te Kaahu O Rangi was released to critical acclaim in 2022, winning this year’s Taite Prize: Best Debut award and receiving nominations for ‘Best New Artist’ at the 2022 Rolling Stone Awards; ‘Best te reo Māori Album’ in the 2022 Waiata Māori Music Awards, ‘Best Alternative Artist’ in 2022 AMAs; ‘Favourite Album’, ‘Favourite Single’, ‘Favourite Solo Act’ and ‘Tohu Puoro o te reo Māori’ at the 2022 Student Radio Network Awards
ABOUT DELANEY DAVIDSON
Massey University Artist In Residence 2022, Producer of the Year 2021, Country Music Artist of the Year 2020, APRA Professional Development Award Winner 2019, Artist Laureate of New Zealand 2015, Three times winner of the NZ Country Music Song of the Year Award, Awarded NZ Country Music Album Of The Year, finalist for the coveted NZ APRA Silver Scroll Award, and Winner of the One Man Band Competition in Zurich.
Well known for his hypnotic and original One man and his Ghost Orchestra show, enigmatic multi-instrumentalist Delaney Davidson both defines and commands his own unique realm in the shadowy musical world some call ‘Country-Noir’ or ‘Gothic Americana’.
ABOUT PŪTERE – LANDLESS NATIVE
Pūtere – Landless Native is an Ōtautahi-based kaiwhatu, rikatoi and storyteller. Her creative practice is an expression of mana motuhake that reinforces the connections of whānau to their stories and traditional practices through kōrero tuku iho and kā mahi a te whare pora.