thoughts on music, design and literature

Friday, November 26, 2010

A 10-Year Anniversary Of Sorts

Thanksgiving day 2000, I moved down to LA to pursue a career in music. It's been a great 10 years.

(This is the view from my rooftop.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Origin Of 'Kia Hora Te Marino'... Discovered!

Those of you who have Calling All Dawns know that the lyrics to the last song 'Kia Hora Te Marino' are simply attributed as a Maori proverb.  That's because neither I nor my Maori lyricist, Jerome Kavanagh, could trace back the origin of the proverb.  It's all over the internet, yet no one could point to the original source.

Well, earlier this week I received a very interesting message on Facebook from a young woman named Noeline.  She told me that she was the descendent of the Maori prophet who wrote the original text, and told me the story behind the proverb.  She also told me that the widely circulated version on the internet is truncated.  The original text has a few more (beautiful) lines, and she shared them with me.  While she asked that the story behind the proverb be kept a secret (as it is very dear to her family), she gave me permission to share the full lyrics with the rest of the world, as well as to attribute their origin.  Here's the full text:

Kia hora te marino
kia whakapapa pounamu te moana
kia tere te karohirohi
i mua i tou huarahi
Haere e tama haere

Let Peace be widespread
Let the sea glisten like the greenstone
May your path be straight
Like the flight of the dove
Go in Peace and with my blessings Moko 

The Author: Rangawhenua
Hapu (Sub-Tribe): Ngaati Pahere
Iwi (Main Tribe): Ngaati Manaiapoto
Marae (Home): Te Koura Putaroa Marae
Place: Taumarunui, Aotearoa (New Zealand)

So there you have it.  The power of the internet led me to discover the proverb in the first place, and after I set it to music, the power of the internet led the descendants of Rangawhenua to contact me.  And now hopefully though the power of the internet, the author of the text will be rightfully credited with his own words.

Creatively Drained, So...

... might as well give my dog a bath.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Fourth Fruit Should Be An Orange

Last weekend, I was explaining to my girlfriend (who's a graphic designer) how a composer's mind works.

Basically, composition at its simplest form is the arrangement of ideas; knowing what note should follow the previous one, and when it should follow it. Start off with one note. Does the next note repeat it, or does it go up or down? Then does it go up or down again, or does it repeat? Or does it stop? It's just decision making.

Think about it this way. Give someone a bag of apples and a bag of oranges, and tell them to line them up in a row on the counter. A visual artist might approach it one way--having a good balance of colors, maybe developing a pattern, etc. A composer will think sequentially. A composer will know when it's time to shift from one fruit to another... so for example, a composer would know, that if he lines up three apples in a row, that fourth fruit had better be an orange.

Why? Because four of the same fruit in a row is just too much.

Of course, in actual composing, not only do we have a whole cornucopia of fruit, but fruit in different sizes, different varieties of each fruit, different sizes of each fruit... oh, and we can vary the space between fruits, too.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A New Interview

Fellow composer Don Rath, Jr. has published an interview with me on his website. Check it out!