In this series, we present our new composers. We are proud to introduce Reti Hedley.
Please tell us about yourself and what you do.
I wear a number of hats including musician, composer, teacher, music producer and father to my 6month old son Ororuarangi. My son keeps me super busy, but somehow I still manage to fit in all my musical projects too!
I am currently involved in a few music producing projects for various artists and companies, I love the producing side of music as it allows me to compose musical works from the bones right through to the final product. I am also actively involved in two musical projects; Knights of the Dub Table & IA.
What I love the most about music is the creation and collaboration elements…even if no one heard a single song I wrote, I would be content in life as long as I could still create!I nerd out at sound design and manipulating sound with various effects and technology. I enjoy playing many instruments but am enthusiastic about guitar, drums and taonga pūoro. My mother Rangiiria Hedley was a taonga pūoro educator and practitioner and I learnt the knowledge of pūoro, tikanga Māori and Te Reo through her. When she passed in 2012 I inherited her vast collection of traditional instruments.
It’s only now I feel ready to pick up these taonga and bring their voices back to life. Hence, the creation of my new musical endeavour IA, alongside my fellow bandmates Moetu Smith & Turoa Pohatu.
Please choose 2-3 of your works/albums and tell us about them.
I am stoked to let you know about IA’s debut single ‘Weherua’, which was just released this October. It was our first attempt as a group experimenting with the voices of the taonga and discovering new frontiers with traditional instruments. We wanted to change the way taonga was being used in music and we decided to compose with the idea the taonga is the centrepiece of our all compositions. The western instruments are supporting the taonga, rather than the taonga being used as just sprinkles or sound effects.
Weherua includes the voices of the Punga Ihu Uku, Karanga Weka, Tumu Toka and the Pahu Toka. The lyrics are inspired by an ancient mōteatea/chanted poem and are sung in both Te Reo Māori and English with the goal of showcasing Māori language and traditional instruments to all people.
In 2011 I released my first album with my band Knights of the Dub Table. I’m proud of the body of work we put out and it was even nominated for a Maori Music Award. Since then we have released various singles and EP’s…… You can check out our album, Way of The Dub on Spotify here.
What are you working on at the moment?
IA just finished filming a live performance of our next single named Ororuarangi. We brought taonga pūoro to the forest and performed in front of a live audience who were all connected into the sound via headphones (silent disco style). It was an unreal experience and I can’t wait to share the waiata and live recording with everyone in January!