Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne

by Dudley Benson

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about

Recorded almost entirely with only the human voice, Forest is a full-length album of Benson’s interpretations of bird waiata by renowned composer Hirini Melbourne (1949-2003).

'Brilliant...Unashamed in its risk-taking and vision'
9/10 Under the Radar

'Playful and heart-breaking'
***** Groove Guide

'Utterly indigenous'
Nick Bollinger, Radio New Zealand

credits

released November 1, 2010

Original waiata by Hirini Melbourne
Arranged & produced by Dudley Benson
Recorded, engineered & mixed by Adrian Hollay
Mastered by Mandy Parnell at Black Saloon
Golden Retriever Records, GRR006D

Voice, beatbox & whistle – Dudley
The Dawn Chorus – Pene Pati (tenor), Grant O’Connor (tenor),
Jeffrey Chang (baritone), Moses McKay (bass)
Beatbox – King Homeboy
Bird mimic – Gerry Findlay
Voice –Vashti Bunyan
Taonga pūoro & voice – Richard Nunns
Whistle – Joshua Thomas & Myles Thomas
Choir – Rachel Alexander & Rebecca Guest (soprano) Laura Caygill, Sarah Hogg & Thomas Woodfield (alto) Andrew Baldwin,
Jeffrey Chang & Lachlan Craig (tenor),
Morgan Simes & Nicholas Sutcliffe (bass)
Choral coordinator & conductor – Nicholas Forbes

Art direction by Dudley
Appliqué artwork by Florence Dennison
Design by Frances Young

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Track Name: Pīpī Manu E
Pīpī pīpī manu e
Pīpīwharauroa
E pī pī pī ana e
Mō Pāpā Māmā wharauroa

Kei whea kē koe e Pā e?
Kei whea kē koe e Mā e?
Kimi atu, kimi mai
Kei whea kē kōrua e?

Kūī kūī whio!
Korowhiti korowhiti
Kūī kūī a!

Chicks of the
Shining cuckoo
Calling for their
Parents

Where are you Pa?
Where are you Ma?
We search here and there
Where are you both?
Track Name: Tīrairaka
Tīrairaka wero taiaha
Tei! Tei! Ti ti tei!
Whakatekateka ana ki mua
Tei! Tei! Ti ti tei!

Tïoioi, piupiu, parehe,
Whēkokikoki, pekapeka
Tūpekepeke
Te rere a te tīrairaka
Te rere a te tīrairaka
Tei! Tei! Ti ti tei!

Fantail wielding a taiaha
Tei! Tei! Ti ti tei!
Darting cheekily forward
Tei! Tei! Ti ti tei!
Feinting, swaying, parrying,
Dodging, prancing,
Bouncing,
Tei! Tei! Ti ti tei!
Track Name: Pīpīwharauroa
Pīpīwharauroa
Nau tō mai te mahana
Kia puāwai ngā rākau
Kia rere te kakara

Tioro tioro tioro Te kōanga
Kūī kūī kūī
Te raumati

Kūī kūī kūī
Whiti whiti ora

Sweet singing bird, Pīpīwharauroa
You bring the warmth
That sets the forest to bloom
Like a flower’s scent, Spring rises with your song

We bloom when you sing, and
You call us on to a new day
Track Name: Tūī (ft. Vashti Bunyan)
Listen to that sound, Tūī!
Whakarongo mai, Tūī!
Like a flute it seems to me
Kia kōauau, Tūī!

Will we ever hear another like Tūī?
I wonder, will there ever be a song so free?

To the world you call “Morning!”
Ki te ao koe karanga “Ata mārie!”
From the lungs, your voice is honey
Tō reo waihonga, e Tūī

Will we ever hear another like Tūī?
I wonder, will there ever be a song so free?
Will we ever hear another like Tūī?
I wonder, will there ever be a cry so clear?

Tuia!

Listen to that sound, Tūī!
Whakarongo mai, Tūī!
Thank you for your proud beauty
Kia ora rā tō ātaahua nui

We may never hear another like Tūī
I wonder, will there ever be a song so free?
We may never hear another like Tūī
I wonder, will there ever be a cry so clear?

Tuia!
Track Name: Ruru
Ruru! Koukou!

Listen to the Ruru koukou
As he tells us what we need to know
To make it through when the moon is high
And the cold comes in through
A crack in the sky

And yet the dark of the growing night
Means nothing to the keeper of the golden eyes
He knows all the shadows that exist between
The world we know and the ones unseen

The koukou is a warning from the one
Whose work begins when the day is done
And as the Earth is deep in sleep
His signal will her safety keep

But one night from his tree hollow
Ruru clocks something in the bush below
He feels a sudden shift in the pūkohu leaves
It’s the foul approach of thieves!

Ruru! Koukou!

Putting on his uniform
Brown of bark and grey of storm
(and when it’s worn)
He is the ghost undetectable
With the call that is meant to protect us all

And in stealth he makes his swoop
All to get a better view (uh huh)
Ruru’s seen these robbers before
Digging down into the depths of the forest floor

As he’s done since the mud grew trees
And the birds climbed up into the canopy
Ruru summons up the ancient call
To banish the greedy, once and for all

And from the cry the scoundrels run
But Ruru believes they’ll be back for some
(and he waits)
Yet tonight it’s just him and the echo of
A lonely koukou

Ruru! Koukou!

Kaumātua – show us how to koukou

He’s brooding, planning, preparing
He’s listening...

Ruru! Koukou!
Track Name: Pūngāwerewere
Pūngāwerewere hanga whare tukutuku
Hei hopu ngārara rere parihau
Whare tukutuku
Miro hāpiripiri
Hirahira
Mau herehere

Pūngāwerewere haere ngoingoi
Ki te hopu ngaro mau herehere

Whare tukutuku
Miro hāpiripiri
Hirahira
Mau herehere

Spider with house made of sticky thread
For catching insects on the wing

House of
Silky sticky
Silver
Entangling thread

Spider crawling
To catch an entangled fly

House of
Silky sticky
Silver
Entangling thread
Track Name: Kiwi
Kiwi ngutu roa
Torotoro ngārara kai
Roto ngāherehere
Rite ki te kāpō
Mau tiripou
Torotoro hīkoi haere

Kāre koe e rere
Ko tō reo anake
E rere nei i te pō
Kiwi! Kiwi! Kiwi!

Kiwi with a long beak
Searching for food
In the forest
Just like a blind man
With a stick
Prodding as he walks

You cannot fly
Only your voice
Flies in the night
Kiwi! Kiwi! Kiwi!