Recording and Mixing Flowing Waters Production

The last two weeks have been spent recording and mixing the sound track for the Flowing Waters dramatic production to be performed at the Hamilton Arts Festival in Feb 2018. It was a joy to work with Janet Jennings the composer as we recorded Voices NZ under Karen Grylls at the Auckland University Music School; and to then mix these recordings with an astonishing orchestral rendering of Janet’s composition produced by Teresa Conners and James Maxwell. It has been a lot of fun and I am looking forward to hearing feedback about the live performances.

Here is the description of the show from the Arts Festival web site:

A theatrical event by Witi Ihimaera, Tom Roa and Janet Jennings.

A Hamilton première for a Waikato story. Singing, acting, kapa haka, film and dance come together in a ground-breaking and dazzling musical drama, written and produced specially for the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival 2018. Flowing Water tells the epic story of the Waikato River and all the peoples nurtured by the river – Māori, Pakeha and later migrants in a landmark production supported by Tainui.  The Maori scenes have been devised by Tom Roa. Directed by John Drummond, the thrilling première features a large cast of leading performers with strong local links. Acclaimed writer Witi Ihimaera wraps his magic around the story of the Waikato River and brings it to life for family and friends to enjoy. “The story of the Waikato River,” he says, “is the story of New Zealand. We are proud to put the Waikato at the forefront of our country’s history.”

Recording Graduate Choir for All Blacks Test

Great fun recording the Graduate Choir with Terence Maskell at Holy Trinity Cathedral – singing great British songs for the All Blacks Test match at Eden Park on the 7th June. Tracks included Jerusalem, I Vow to Thee my Country, Pokarekare Ana, Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia.

All songs except Pokarekare were accompanied by Philip Smith (Cathedral Organist) on the Holy Trinity Harrison Organ. This is the last recording of the Harrison since it will be replaced as part of the upcoming Cathedral renovations. So an historical moment in one sense.

Recording CSO live and in session for CD

A fun gig recording the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in the Wigram Airforce Museum. Basically a big aircraft hanger with three planes removed to make way for a stage and audience seating. The purpose of the gig was to record Anthony Ritchie’s 4th Symphony – based on the 14th stations of the cross. Fantastic piece – very emotional – especially with Jenny Wollerman’s lovely soprano voice. We recorded the rehearsal on Saturday morning (22nd Feb) and the concert on Saturday night. Then had a 3 hour recording session on the Sunday. The recording will be released on Atoll in the near future.

Diocesan School Recordings

A day recording at Diocesan School in the music pavilion with Music Director Shelagh Thompson and a bunch of very talented girls from classes Year 7 to 13). Groups recorded were:

  • Quintet – playing Mozart variations
  • Trio – playing Saint-Saens’ Trio Op 92
  • Symphony Orchestra – playing Rachmaninov’s Butterflies and Hurricanes; Lord of the Dance by Hardiman/Copeland
  • Quartet – playing Dvorak’s String Quartet Op 96 No 12
  • Chamber Orchestra – playing Piazzolla’s Libertango; Hamilton’s Whisper to me; Hamilton’s Danielle’s Bassoon; Storm – Vanessa’s Mae’s arrangement of Vivaldi’s Summer
  • Concert Band – playing What a Wonderful World

The music pavilion is really too small for orchestral recording – no space for the sound to bloom – so we’ll have to work some magic in post. In the small space temperatures soared, instruments went sharp and girls got tired. Since most of them had been out late the night before performing for their end-of-year music showcase at Holy Trinity it was amazing they were able to last the distance. All credit to Shelagh for encouraging them. Pizza for all the players at lunchtime was a definite winner.