CDs featuring Richard Nunns

Taonga Puoro

Te More

Whirimako Black, Richard Nunns
Te More is a tribute to one of Maoridom’s most famous early composers, Mahi-ki-te-kapua. The album consists of a selection of moteatea from Tuhoe, and pieces composed by Whirimako and Richard in the moteatea tradition. The concentrated simplicity and austerity of Te More connects the oldest and most revered traditions of waiata with the contemplative concentration of 21st century art music. Emotionally rich, texturally lush, this beautiful recording brings together two of our finest musical taonga.
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RN-CD-KuWheTe Ku Te Whe :: the woven mat of sound

Hirini Melbourne & Richard Nunns

Te Ku Te Whe reached gold status in 2002. 14 years after its debut in 1993 it continues to be a popular CD.

Te Ku Te Whe takes the listener into an ancient world, structured by mythology, history, and the moods of nature. The sound and images evoke the closeness of Maori music to the land, the sea and the wind.

It has become the definitive recording of taonga puoro (maori musical instruments) since it was released in 1993.

The waiata of Hirini Melbourne, and the sound of the purerehua, the putorino, the koauau, and vast range of pre-european Maori instruments, performed by Hirini and his musical partner Richard Nunns are now burnt into the musical consciousness of people throughout Aotearoa. Behind feature films, in TV commercials and sporadically sampled, the sound of the instruments is now an essential part of our bi-cultural identity. This is a relatively recent state of affairs. For many decades the instruments were confined to museums and the memories of kaumatua and kuia. Thanks to the landmark album ‘Te Ku Te Whe’, these sounds are alive and accessible to us today. Graham Reid, Music From Elsewhere
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CD, Te Hekenga-a-rangiTe Hekenga-a-rangi :: those who descended from heaven

Hirini Melbourne & Richard Nunns with Aroha Yates-Smith
Te Hekenga-a-rangi was a finalist in the 2006 New Zealand Music Awards
Composed nine years after Te Ku te Whe, Te Hekenga-a-rangi brings the female essence into nga taonga puoro. Aroha both sings beautifuly and brings a profound knowledge of female spirituality and goddesses to the music. It is an intensely spiritual album. Te Hekenga-a-rangi refers to an ancient people said to have originated in the heavens who then occupied Aotearoa. Their spirit is in the shells and stones – and in these seamlessly melded evocative songs and inventive sonic structures.
The CD comes with a companion DVD containing performances and interviews.

The precise and lexical beauty of Richard Nunns and Hirini Melbourne

The story of the two musicians is well told in a documentary (directed by Keith Hill) that comes on a DVD bundled into …te hekenga-a-rangi. Among other things, they tell how learning the new-old instruments not only revealed old sounds, but old voices, and that revealing old voices also revealed old words.

They tell how mortal humans are not the only audiences for these lexical sounds, but also that marae have appreciated the iteration of them at graves and burial sites, where these musical, lyrical voices have been silent – in some cases for hundreds of years – and sorely in need of korero.

And yes, you too will find this music will communicate with parts you never knew existed, by means of timbres, orchestrations and arrangements you never thought possible. James Littlewood,
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CD, Te Whaiao: Te Ku te Whe remixedTe Whaiao :: daylight: Te Ku Te Whe remixed, 2006

Hirini Melbourne & Richard Nunns

While he was still with us, Hirini Melbourne expressed a hope that the waiata would find new voices, new rhythms, and new listeners. And so Te Ku Te Whe (‘the woven mat of sound’) is unrolled again in Te Whaiao. Through its layering of digital textures and live performances, Te Whaiao (‘daylight’) opens a new window into a space in our shared musical consciousness. Te Whaiao is created with respect and aroha.

Te Whaiao earned Richard Nunns and Hirini Melbourne the Tui Award for the best Maori album at the New Zealand Music Awards 2007.
Each artist cunningly comes with a ready-made audience, the perfect springboard to unleash the music of ‘Te Ku Te Whe’ on a bigger, more mainstream audience. [Rattle Records'] Gummer says he chose the artists because he felt downbeat music would work respectfully with the original music … ‘There is a real breadth of sonic textures that aren’t in the original mixes, bringing in everything from full-scale electronica to dub. It really adds another dimension but doesn’t change the value of the original track,’ he says.
A year and a half in the making, the remixes are varied but all retain a deep, sparse and haunting atmosphere. Completely accessible yet interesting ‘Te Whaiao – Te Ku Te Whe Remixed’ is the kind of album which rewards repeated listening.
NZ Musician, 2006
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RN-CD-IAWWIt’s a World’s World

International Compilation World Music


Contemporary classical

notes from a journey CDNotes from a journey

New Zealand String Quartet, including Richard Nunns
Winner Best Classical Album at Vodafone NZ Music Awards 2011
A diverse and fascinating collection of works for string quartet by NZ composers.
This celebration of the inspirational symbiosis that these four musicians share with our composer community has much going for it. If one could venture a superlative for the word immaculate, then this production would deserve it; as far as visual presentation is concerned, Simon Kaan’s
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CD TuhonohonoTuhonohono :: weaving

Richard Nunns, Judy Bailey, Steve Garden

Tuhonohono was awarded five stars by the New Zealand Herald

Tuhonohono was completely improvisation based – the open sessions allowing performers to develop a common music language. Steve Garden was then to take a crucial role – not just capturing the sound of the instruments, but actually shaping the form of the music in an extended editing process.

This is an unashamedly lush, ambient, spacious album, evoking a sense of mystery as it weaves together the strands of two apparently distant musical tonalities. For all that Tuhonohono sounds like a New Zealand landscape – in the best sense of what that might mean.

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CD, IpuIpu :: gourd

Gillian Whitehead

Based on a story by Tungia Baker, literally an Ipu is a gourd, for carrying food and goods. Ipu korero denotes a story-teller, someone who ‘carries’ stories. The Ipu is also employed, as heard here, as a musical instrument. From this vessel flows the musical threads of two cultures, Maori and Pakeha (European New Zealanders), and a poetic love story.

…. a finely meshed collaboration….A stunning vista is revealed…. A potent mix. William Dart, The Listener

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RN-CD-SpiritSpirit of The Land: Tower Voices New Zealand

Best Classical Album, New Zealand Music Awards 2006

Gillian Whitehead’s expansive Taiohi Taiao towers above all else. Its spirituality captures the depths of Aroha Yates-Smith’s Maori text, where the life-giving force of water transfers in the second part to the life-giving force of the womb as the fountain of humankind, echoed by Whitehead’s surging cascades of florid choral writing. Music and text become one in this very moving work. The slow static chant in Helen Fisher’s Pounamu is in perfect symbiosis with Richard Nunns’s koauau flute playing. Ian Dando, The New Zealand Listener

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RN-CD-ParihakaParihaka – The Art of Passive Resistance

Features, Offering for Parihaka (D. Hamilton), The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Puoro Maori: Richard Nunns, Conductor: Kenneth Young, Recorded 22 July 2000, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington.

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CD, Puhake Ki Te RangiPuhake Ki Te Rangi :: spouting to the skies

Gillian Whithead: The New Zealand String Quartet and Richard Nunns

A celebration of whales, for the New Zealand String Quartet and Richard Nunns by Gillian Whithead, premiered in 2007.

The taonga puoro used in this piece include the percussive tumutumu, karanga manu (pounamu bird-caller), two nguru and two albatross putorino (played as both trumpet and flute). This will tour USA in 2008.

The quartet were then joined by Richard Nunns, a dedicated specialist on Maori instruments, in the premiere of Gillian Whitehead’s Puhake Ki Te Rangi. The strings provided quiet patterns and static harmonies over which Nunns’s largely improvised music entered, tapping out rhythms and then playing high-pitched songs that were answered by the first violin. There were playful moments and flowing melodies, but most often the music told of the minor-key loneliness of whales and albatrosses. It is a sad, hauntingly beautiful piece, played with dignity and love by both the quartet and Nunns. Rod Biss, The New Zealand Listener, 2007

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Tim Hopkins (saxophone, shaker), Dixon Nacey (guitar) , John Rae (drums) ,Richard Nunns (taonga pūoro)
If, as some commentators claim, a renaissance is taking place in New Zealand jazz, Tim is surely one of its leading lights, and Seven one of its seminal achievements. The pieces were all written and conceived for a bass-less trio of saxophone, guitar and drums, and both Dixon Nacey (guitar) and John Rae (drums) shine in this setting, and the inclusion of Richard Nunns (taonga puoro) on Road From Perdition and The Sleeping Giant is inspired.
The album is comprised of seven compositions that encapsulate Tim’s musical philosophy and creative direction with great rigour and sense of purpose.
Tim Hopkins’ new CD SEVEN, is a stunning statement from an extraordinary musician at the peak of his powers. Energy, drama, virtuosity and creativity, this music has it all. A landmark recording! Mike Nock
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Two TidesTwo Tides

Chris Mason-Battley Group & Richard Nunns

The ancient musical traditions of New Zealand’s indigenous Mäori meet the evolving sounds of 21st century Jazz. Richard Nunns, internationally acclaimed proponent of taonga puoro (literally ‘treasures of sound’), as heard on films such as ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Whalerider’ collaborates with leading NZ contemporary jazz group the Chris Mason-Battley Group. Two distinct musical sensibilities explore their similarities and differences through improvisation. Mäori instrumentation and European jazz explore new territory within the evolving musical landscape of Aotearoa / New Zealand. From intimate conversations between koauau (bone flute) and saxophone to dynamic, emotive group improvisations, this is music that alternatively lulls, lifts, moves, and surprises.

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RangiruaRangirua :: two voices

Evan Parker & Richard Nunns

Richard Nunns and Evan Parker first met in the 80′s but it was not until 1999 that they agreed to play together.

Their music is created spontaneously, it involves working with the miniscule nuances at the outer regions of the
fundamental sound. Here we have two musicians from opposite ends of the world, tapping into very different ancient traditions, who are both responsible for opening doors to universes of sound, coming together to open a new door. The resulting live recording is featured on this CD. (From Jeff Henderon)

In fitting with collaboration with Parker Richard Nunns is also a first class improvisor who works within the frameworks and limitations of his chosen instruments to elicit a sphere of sounds and patterns that is surprising given the relative simplicity of their constructions. … The sounds invoked necessarily avoid Western musical constructs and Parker’s array of extended techniques meshes beautifully in the non-tempered surroundings.Derek Taylor,, 2001
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Cine Club DetourCineclub Detour

Mike Cooper, Richard Nunns and Elio Martusciello play live in Rome 2002.

The music has an air of ritual calm.Wire, 2003

Contemporary Maori

CD, WhaeaWhaea :: Motherhood

Ariana Tikao

Ariana Tikao’s Whaea album is a celebration of motherhood. All in Te Reo Maori, it draws upon contemporary music styles such as hip-hop and dub but with a strong emphasis on Maori chant and traditional sounds. A notable feature of Whaea is the inclusion of many taoka puoro (taonga puoro), traditional Maori musical instruments, performed by Richard Nunns.

Ariana Tikao’s Whaea is a lovely record that functions on many levels – on one level it’s a soft singer-songwriter disc full of good tunes but it’s much more than that – it’s a celebration of language and culture. Nick Bollinger, National Radio
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CD, WaikohuWaikohu :: mist

Mere Boynton and friends

Waikohu is a collaboration between actress and singer Mere Boynton and artists from across a wide variety of musical styles.

Vocal compositions of a more traditional nature are complemented by contemporary waiata by Gareth Farr, Gillian Whitehead and Paul Booth, and enhanced by the contributions of Richard Nunns performing on traditional instruments.

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CD, TahiTahi :: one

Moana and the Moahunters

Tahi was first released in 1993 and was one of the Top 5 selling albums in that year, achieving gold status. Tahi contains 14 tracks, featuring Moana’s signature hit and Gold selling single ‘Black Pearl’ which reached No.2 in Top 50 Charts.

…Tahi proves the rhythms were there all along with its use of sampled haka, stamps and poi underneath exquisite singing. Given exposure here and abroad, like Australias Yothu Yindi’s ‘Treaty’, it could be the defining moment in New Zealand music this year…New Zealand Listener


CD, RuaRua :: two

Moana and the Moahunters

RUA reflects the unique sound of Aotearoa – it fuses dance music but it is the Maori elements that make it different from music from the rest of the world – stories from Aotearoa.

“Quote” reviewer


CD, ToruToru :: three

Moana and the Moahunters

Released as Moana & The Tribe, this was Moana’s European debut album into Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Austria.

Hine Te Iwaiwa celebrates the notion of the Goddess inside every woman; Calling You recalls the relationship of our ancestors with the ocean; both songs showcase the talents of Richard Nunns (taonga puoro), Italian musicians Claudio Teobaldelli (piano) and Giovanni Pecchioli (clarinet). Kapa haka group Ihu Waka makes a debut too.

Toru entered the European World Music Charts at 17.

As a singer with a political and cultural consciousness, Moana is one of the most renowned artists to emerge from New Zealand … and she creates a fusion between smooth world music, and the urban sound with earthy, international beats.

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This Appearing WorldThis Appearing World

Marilyn Crispell, Richard Nunns, Jeff Henderson
The ancient tonalities of taonga puoro find themselves in a contemporary setting as Marilyn Crispell and Jeff Henderson weave a beautiful array of sonic textures and nuances around the evocative sounds of Richard Nunns. This Appearing World is a voyage into sonically uncharted territory through thirteen pieces that defy easy categorisation. Each track is a new ‘cinematic environment’ that simultaneously evokes ancient and post-apocalyptic vistas.
While freeform improvisation is a long-standing musical practice, the use of taonga puoro is rare, and Richard is the sole world exponent. The music on This Appearing World is unique to New Zealand.
The album was recorded and filmed over two days at the University of Auckland’s Kenneth Myers Centre. The video material (shot by Guy Quartermain and Keith Hill) is an equally unique and captivating document showing the interplay between three extraordinary musicians who had an all-too-brief chance to work together.Given the improvisational nature of the project, watching the musicians interact brings a greater intimacy to the music.
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Ancient Astronaut Theory

David Lisik, Richard Nunns
Ancient Astronaut Theory is a new work by Dr. David Lisik, composed in seven movements for taonga pūoro, and featuring Dr. Richard Nunns. Combining loops and re-contextualised phrases with layered overdubs and electronic manipulation, Dave Lisik has concocted the ultimate taonga pūoro orchestra, a beautifully engineered, gorgeously produced tapestry of texture and timbre.
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CD, New Zealand Sonic Art Vol. IIINew Zealand Sonic Art Vol. III

Returning to Lilburn’s vision to uncover the inner, spiritual values of natural sound and develop an awareness of place, Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns perform their work on traditional Maori instruments. The voices of these instruments rise up from the depths of the land, yet ‘Te Hau Kuri’ also requires electronic technology to exist and studio machines have been humanly integrated with acoustic instruments…The piece extends their previous work and the expressive boundaries of the electroacoustic medium.

bursting with artistic vibrancy and ingenuity… a shining gem in the production of contemporary electroacoustic music Sonoloco Record Reviews.
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CD, Dub ConspiracyDub Conspiracy

Features Hirini Melbourne & Richard Nunns. Listen to the track Rall0

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CD featuring Richard Nunns: Karekare: Te Reo o te WhenuaKarekare: Te Reo o te Whenua

Paddy Free & Richard Nunns

Karekare: Te Reo O Te Whenua “The Language of the Land” is the debut solo album by Paddy Free one of NZ’s best-known electronic musicians.

He unites with Richard Nunns, to create a uniquely Aotearoa sound, which pays homage to the raw beauty of the NZ landscape – and in particular the titular and broodingly spectacular Auckland West Coast beach, Karekare.

Paddy’s journey of exploration into working with taonga puoro has taken 14 years, through recording projects with Emma Paki, Hinewehi Mohi’s Oceania project, AK dancefloor pioneers Mesh, Salmonella Dub, and now, culminating in working with the man widely considered to be the living expert on taonga puoro, Richard Nunns.

Along with Richard’s contributions, Karekare: Te Reo O Te Whenua also features guest vocals in Te Reo from Tiki Taane, Waimihi Hotere, Te Wharetatao and Corrina Hunziker.

Imbued with te reo and Maori spirituality, and with assistance from Richard Nunns (playing traditional instruments), Tiki Taane, Waimihi Hotere and others, this one has a brooding and sometimes windswept quality that conjures up the environment around Karekare in the centuries before Europeans arrived.

…Maori flutes can be melodically limited but of exceptional emotional power and it is Nunns’ gift that he can bring that quality out in projects such as this. … Karekare: Te reo o te whenua … is an aural environment in which Free creates the sounds of the bush, birds and Maori instruments in a way which evoke the timelessness of the West Coast. Graham Reid,

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Feel The Seasons ChangeFeel The Seasons Change

Salmonella Dub

An audiovisual journey through Aotearoa that weaves the ancient and modern worlds together in a journey of healing and celebration. It is also a musical adventure bringing Salmonella Dub and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra onstage together with Whirimako Black, Richard Nunns and Paddy Free.

the exceptional Love Sunshine and Happiness, and Drifting which is centre-piece, which pull together serious dub and symphonics are outstanding. Graham Reid,

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