Mahi cover
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Richard Nunns

[ Rattle Records / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 18 December 2020

One of the largely unseen consequences of the European colonisation of Aotearoa was that the playing of, and knowledge about, the traditional musical instruments of Maori almost disappeared. In the 1970s a young Pakeha schoolteacher, Richard Nunns, started asking questions of his Maori friends about these instruments, which sparked a 40-year journey of rediscovery.

Over that time Richard became internationally recognised as the leading figure in the revival of taonga puoro, alongside musician, composer, and educator, Hirini Melbourne, and master-carver and instrument maker, Brian Flintoff.

In 2014 a book was published that tells the story of Richard Nunns' remarkable journey. Te Ara Puoro reveals how fragments of knowledge given by elders were pieced together through countless presentations and performances on marae the length and breadth of the country, of how the instruments were re-created and developed, and of how Richard subsequently mastered their playing.

Curated in 2014 as an accompaniment to the book (which is, sadly, currently out-of-print), Mahi features 16 pieces of music that offer an engaging overview of Richard's recorded output.


Raureka 01:46
Wai 06:04
Te Aho Ku 05:21
Aftermath 09:42
Ririko 02:04
Okareka 04:08
To Po remix 05:07
Early Development 05:50
The Watchers 06:35
The Sleeping Giants 06:23
This Appearing World 03:49
Greenstones 05:13
Takutaku 05:46
Manawatu - Waitua (download only) 06:42
Orohanga 06:33
Tuakiri Huna 04:42