Piano Recording with Sylvia

I recently spent a lovely evening recording classical pianist Sylvia Jiang at the Lewis Eady showroom in Newmarket. Bill McCarthy was in charge of filming the session and producing the final video, and I provided the high resolution audio to accompany it. A mix of Liszt, Prokofiev, Beethoven and Grieg. The instrument was a Steinway Model B and the space less than ideal but we managed to get a great sound none-the-less using two pairs of microphones. A pair of Schoeps MK21’s mounted 30cm apart, 1.5m high and about 1.5m from the tail of the piano looking down the bass strings (Decca style) and another pair of MK21’s about 60cm apart and 2m in front of the piano well and about 1.8m high looking down under the lid.

Recording with Wai and Wendell

What wonderful talent there is on this island. I had the privilege of recording a new single from local artist Waimara Knowles. Wai was on vocals and rhythm guitar with bass and lead guitar played by Wendell. We recorded in the lounge at Orama looking out over the stunning blue waters of Karaka Bay – a truly inspirational setting. The song is due to be part of a music video to be shot early December.

Recording Flowing Waters with Janet Jennings

Back in 2018 I had the privilege of recording the choral parts for Janet Jennings new opera Flowing Waters. I then mixed and produced the sound track to be played live along with on-stage performers at the opera’s first outing at the Hamilton Arts Festival. So to have the chance to record all the live speaking and singing parts as part of a CD production for the whole opera was a real bonus. Together with producer Wayne Laird and composer Janet Jennings we recorded all the parts over a period of three days at the lovely Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts in Hamilton. It was great to work with such a variety of talented people. The CD will be released by Atoll in due course.

Local Talent

One of the great things on Great Barrier is the amazing musical talent that crosses my path. Over the last few months I’ve had the pleasure of working with Elaine Ngawaka from Kawa Marae and her enthusiastic Kapa Haka group. The outcome will be a soundtrack for a promotional video for the Kapa Haka group’s visit to Spain.

Shortly I will also be recording some of Elaine’s original songs – hopefully accompanied by her husband Opo who plays a mean lead guitar part.

It has also been fun recording Waimarama (Wai) Knowles, a talented local singer songwriter. During our recent sessions we multi-tracked lead and backing vocals, guitar and percussion with Wai performing all the parts.

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 Cate and Claire Pierard

A fun session at Waikato’s Gallagher Theatre recording Cate and Claire Pierard singing a wide variety of duets for soprano and mezzo voice. This recording is for a CD to be used for marketing Cate and Claire’s considerable singing talents.