Te Marama puoro o Aotearoa is here (New Zealand Music month). Nina Lesperance from SOUNZ recently caught up with Poulima to hear what New Zealand Music month means to him.


Does your culture and the sound of the Pacific impact your music?

Yes, it does. Both Aotearoa and Samoan worlds of music, culture, people, church, community, worldview and way of life.

When doing some research I found your Instagram account for teaching Piano. How has working with these young people helped develop your music?

Teaching is dissecting music and presenting in a way so simple to students regardless of age. I understand how a composition is put together: melody, harmony, texture, orchestration, feeling etc. I love composition, absolutely fascinated by the complexities and intricate details of the Art. So in a way, every piece I teach only adds to my understanding of music composition and development.

How does New Zealand music impact or inspire your own music?

I love the Māori-Pacific sound, nature, oratory, connection between the sky and the earth, people and God etc. We have our own intervalic and modal nature-listic sound and expressions.

In 2019 you scored the music for ‘Ka Mua, Ka Muri’ (walking backwards into the future) [Which is a film about climate change and its effects on the environment in Aitutaki, Cook Island. The film premiered at the Rome International Film Festival in the ‘ART for the World’ Category.’] Can you tell us about the process in which you undertook to compose the music for this film?

The film had a natural rhythm, look and sound. The pacing of the cuts, various visual outlooks, scenery, the ocean, the people. I didn’t want to distract from the natural ebb and flow. All I did with the music composition was compliment, uplift and support.

Do you have anything coming up that the SOUNZ audience should keep an eye out for?

ANAMUĀ. A personal project based on my homeland villages of Safotu and Faletagaloa-Safune, Savai’i Samoa. Expressed through original music composed and inspired by the great stories and honourifics of both villages. A must-see.

What does New Zealand music month mean to you?

Celebrating all musicians and encouraging them to share and create.