21 Mar 2008

The Making of Tuwhare (Part 1) on Musical Chairs

From Musical Chairs, 4:15 pm on 21 March 2008

In memory of poet Hone Tuwhare, who died in January 2008.

The Making of Tuwhare recalls the story of the project to set his poems to contemporary music by selected artists.

In 2000 Charlotte Yates co-ordinated and released the 'Baxter' CD, with the poetry of James K Baxter set to contemporary music. That CD so impressed Toi Maori Aotearoa that they commissioned Charlotte to repeat the process, this time setting the lyrical poetry of Hone Tuwhare, to a range of musical styles - from Whirimako Black and Dean Hapeta to Don McGlashon and Graham Brazier, and from Te Reo duo Wai to pop favourites Strawpeople.

'Tuwhare' was released on May 16 2005, and Radio New Zealand National's Lynn Freeman followed the making of the Tuwhare CD, charting the earliest days right through to the finished product.

In the first of a three part Musical Chairs special, Lynn Freeman follows the making of the Tuwhare CD with Charlotte Yates and some of the artists she chose for this very special project: Don McGlashan, Wai, Goldenhorse and Graham Brazier.

Hone Tuwhare was the first Maori poet to have published his work in English, with 'No Ordinary Sun' coming out in 1964. His writing was celebrated with numerous accolades ranging from an honorary doctorate, courtesy of the University of Otago, to receiving one of the inaugural Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement in 2003. He was named as an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Artist in 2003. He died in Dunedin on 16 January 2008.