10 Jul 2010

Under The Southern Cross film score

A scene from the film Under the Southern Cross from Sir George Grey Special Collections Auckland Libraries
A scene from the 1928 film 'Under the Southern Cross'. Chief Pakura of the Ariki tribe is in discussion with Rangi on the porch of the meeting house at Whakarewarewa(?) A Maori singing party sits in front. Photo by C. Troughton-Clark courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 471-9800.

In 1928 Universal studios visited New Zealand to film what they pitched as a "Maori folk drama" Under the Southern Cross.

In 2009 The New Zealand Film Archive commissioned Wellington musicians Warren Maxwell (Little Bushman), Maaka McGregor (Wai) and Himiona Grace to devise a brand new soundtrack for the film, to be performed live at screenings.

Melody Thomas catches up with Himiona Grace - Film Archive employee and co- composer of the eclectic new score. Himiona performs a stipped-back version of one section of the music live in the Music 101 studio.