Kia ora Mā Te Reo & Te Taura Whiri!! Thank you for the pūtea! We are now well into production on a new Māori language music video series called "Kanikani" , with production on Waiata Mai Series 2 to follow.
Waiata Mai again focusses on delivering sentence structures in waiata and Kanikani is based on music and movement for 2-6 year olds (from poi, to haka, to waiata ā tinana, to tāonga Māori.. the list goes on). For each series we will be providing 40 Māori language versions and 40 bilingual versions.
We look forward to improving on the first series of Waiata Mai. One of the issues we had in the first series was the use of the same vocalist all the way through - which largely occurred because of changes at the final hour. This time around we will be adapting our processes so that you actually get to hear some of our amazing Ngāti Awa taiohi and rangatahi.
Our mentors for this series, include Waiatangi Black and Professor Taiarahia Black and we will be working closely with four other writers and a number of Ngāti Awa based kura. The Māori language goals for the series are aligned with Te Reo Rautaki o Ngāti Awa.
Ka nui te mihi me te aroha ki te whānau o Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori mo te tautoko me te pūtea...we are fortunate to be doing what we love because of the support of Mā Te Reo. We look forward to launching Kanikani towards the end of 2016. Watch this space :) Maraea.
We started production on the bilingual video series Waiata Mai around May 2014 and were able to launch the series by Christmas. By early 2015 we had all the videos uploaded to You Tube and available for free download. A year later and we are ready to make more media for tamariki (pending funding). Maybe this is the year we get some games off the ground as well. It is certainly the year we update our website and social media :) Maraea
With the help of Mā Te Reo and based on the Pilot "Ka Taea e Au" we are currently in production on 40 songs to help deliver "every day reo Māori via music" to tamariki and their grandparents and parents.
There are five categories we are focussing on: Ko Au (all about me), He Patai, Te Ra/Te Wiki (things we do in a day and a week), He Tākaro, He Toi (from the mat to the craft table to the playground), Matauranga (directions, counting, colours, season etc).
Due for delivery by late October.
Kia ora koutou.
Ko Rangimawhiti Jean Kerswell (nee Davies) toku ingoa
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Putauaki te maunga
ko Rangitaiki te awa
Ko Ngatiawa te iwi
Ko Warahoe me Pahipoto nga hapu
Ko Rangitukehu te tangata
Sister to Maraea (Davies, Co-director and founder of Hei Tiki Creatives, Ltd), I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity last November (2013) to sing a couple of the songs she wrote for the soon-to-be-released EP Reiuru. The experience was a new one for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A month or so ago, as I began looking at rejoining the workforce (after being a full-time stay-at-home mum for 12 years) Maraea offered me the job of a lifetime (lol) - to become a co-director with her in this venture.
With that, I am able to write, sing, produce songs and tell you all about it. I have a home studio getting off the ground and I am super excited. As music is a passion of mine, I often wake up wondering how on earth I got so lucky. Blessed.
I am looking forward to seeing (or hearing) my creations come to life. I am also excited to journey into our culture more. More fully, deeply.
Please join us as we learn what it is we can create, to enable our culture and our Reo to thrive.
A week on and finally getting over the "all-nighter" needed to complete two project applications for funding to get our envisaged projects underway.
Just have to hope that our vision fits with the vision that Te Taura Whiri has for Mā Te Reo funding.
The first project "test My Kupu" is a mobile phone game app to help memorise kupuhou and if funded will be free for download by Māori Language Week 2014.
The second is a series of songs destined for You Tube users aged 0 to 5.
The next pitch on the cards is likely to be to a crowdfunder, for a game app aimed at preschoolers. Will keep you posted on any developments there.
After doing our own research it became obvious that funding is the safest way to go for production of Te Reo Māori based game apps and other electronic resources, so progress is happening somewhat slower than we had originally hoped.
Interestingly the Android user download numbers for the game app Kura (made by the University of Victoria as free for download), are between 1000 and 5000 within two months of release. What are your thoughts on Kura?
So what now? Well the timing is right to refocus on producing the EP that has been funded by Te Māngai Pāho and the three songs written by this writer.... Alongside that we can start building the concept spec for our preschooler game app.
Beyond that I think we will be hitting Christmas.
Development of our games is happening slowly (but surely we like to think), in and around setting up the company 'Hei Tiki Creatives' and all the admin detail that goes with that mahi. A little challenging doing everything without a budget but we are getting there.
What is moving quickly (for this writer anyway) is the reo study happening at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi (on the course Te Awa Tuapapa).
Just this weekend our class had it's third noho for the year where the kauapa mahi-a-roopu was to compose a waiata based on the tinana.
No sweat really with a bit of mahi tahi - in fact we think we turned out good waiata and look forward to submitting it for consideration in a future TMP music funding round.
If we end up with a decent recording of it before then, well we'll post it up but in the mean time, the recording we took after 8 hours of creating and singing shows signs of vocal stress .... so we won't be posting that one!!
So how do you compose a waiata when you are a learner of te reo?
This is what we did working from English to Reo
1) We figured out what we wanted to say - the tone and feel of our waiata
2) We worked out the specifics of what we wanted to say (lyrical content) in English
3) We translated the thoughts we had into te Reo - in some cases word for word but in others using common sayings. One of our hoa-tauira loves the saying "Ko koe te tau o toku ate" so this became a line that repeats through the song and that has become a key line in the chorus.
4) We came up with a tune (by guitar) to fit the theme while we were still creating our waiata, and we fit the vocal phrasing of the lyrics around the rhythm of the song. And when the tune, rhythm or phrasing wasn't working we made adjustments to one or the other. In fact at one point towards the end of composing the song we realised we needed to add an extra chord as our phrasing was sounding a bit rushed in the first part of the chorus.
Just a note - if you can avoid using someone else's tune, its always nicer to find your own - you only need to know 3-4 chords on the guitar or keyboard and you're away. Besides the fact that when you create your own tune with your own lyrics as 'an original', it's just nicer when the waiata you have spent so long writing, also has it's own 'voice'.
5) Once our song was sounding good and harmonies were sorted our kaiako happened along and suggested we add a rap or a haka. It was a great idea and so we added a further layer to the composition.
What I realised in having four of us (like minds) working together was that the mahi became dynamic. Each person added their own layers and by the end of the day, we had created something special together.
Anyway... if you are planning to write your own, kia kaha... at the very least you'll have fun :).
The benefit of having the bush close by is being able to enjoy the native birds...
The tiwaiwaka flits through the whare a little less often than last year but good to see it again before winter sets in.
There were a pair of kereru on this day - but the other was not interested in posing for the camera.
So not interested in a whakaahua!
"Ma te hururu, ka rere te manu, With wings the bird will fly"
It has taken a week to get the website up and running and to a standard we can be happy with. And we've almost gotten our social media sorted... Facebook up and running? Check. Twitter working? Check. People happy to do that mahi? Check. Just have to keep up with it all now.
And so our feathers are slowly growing, even if we have a way to go before we can consider going for a bit of a rere.
Some great developments currently underway though.
A set of songs (for adults) we submitted in partnership with Tumeke FM have been accepted for funding, and production is due to start soon with an EP scheduled for release a little later this year.
A partnership was also recently formed between Hei Tiki Creatives & two great film & video production companies (more about that at a later date). We are looking at starting production on media for tamariki, post July.
On the non media side of things - as part of our commitment to our bigger vision, we have been talking (and talking) to other like minded movers and shakers about the dream of planting our town out in fruit and veges. It's something we'll keep chipping away at. That's for another post at a later date though.
Back to media - still much to do though in getting a series of reo apps to market - which is where our focus is in the moment...
1) We need to get the survey numbers up so we know WHAT is wanted and whether we can afford to make this dream happen
2) The production of the first app needs my attention and some funding (my next port of call)
And so here we are. A long list of things-to-do, blurry eyed, but enjoying the ride anyway.
At this stage, the launch date for the first app is penciled for the start of July to coincide with Maori Language Week. We'll see how that unrolls. With a long list of 'to-do's - it will be a wonder.