Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne

by Dudley Benson

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1.
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?
2.
Tīrairaka 05:04
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!
3.
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
4.
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!
5.
Ruru 04:14
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!
6.
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
7.
Kiwi 10:03
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!

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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Dudley Benson Dunedin, New Zealand

I'm a queer independent artist based in Dunedin, New Zealand. I make music about nature and nationhood. Thanks for listening!

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