25 Jun 2016

Marlon Williams - in Session

From RNZ Music, 2:15 pm on 25 June 2016

Lyttelton's Marlon Williams is back at home after a whirlwind year touring the UK, US and Europe and following the release of his debut, self-titled album. 

He premieres a new song, pays tribute to the late bluegrass pioneer Ralph Stanley, and catches up with Music 101's Kirsten Johnstone at The Sitting Room.  

On 'Arahura': "I wrote it with my ex-girlfriend's dad in mind, he's a West Coaster, and I know how much a part of the landscape he is. There's something firm and unmoving about that place. I affiliate to that river, [Arahura] with Kāi Tahu, on my mum's side, she's often over there looking for greenstone. It's emotionally a big part of my family. The line 'Te Rauparaha, the greenest of eyes, he came a long way for a shimmering prize' - [Te Rauparaha] came down and used grievances with Kāi Tahu chiefs as a casus belli to go in there and plunder the greenstone." 

On new songs: "I took a couple of weeks in Austin after I did SXSW a couple of months ago, and it was the first time I've been completely alone for years. It was quite difficult at the start, but it seemed to bear some fruit. It takes a while to quiet yourself, and to put the mirror down, because it really is such a confronting process, touring and talking about yourself so often. When you finally get the time to settle down and really think about it, you realise you're three masks ahead of where you wanted to be. It's becoming more and more important to me to have silent time." 

Marlon Williams in Session at The Sitting Room, Lyttelton.

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