Selecting Murray Hickman as our first Creative Resident was a great choice. His love of drums and percussion is evident in every conversation, rehearsal and session we have. Murray has been able to enthuse and ignite our drumming creatives into thinking of new work and new directions to take there compositions. Murray's own journey while here has seen him connect with people who have traditional cultural knowledge of beats and the craft of drum-making. He has worked closely with Mo, Mark Short and Katu Teiti to build and develop his composition for the BIG BANG work which is the opening event to the 2014 New Zealand Festival of the Arts. Last week we set up the residency house as the rehearsal space for some particularly talented young drummers to rehearse set pieces with Murray. What magic that was to watch kids as young as 6 blow Murray away with their talent but also to observe Murray teach and extend these kids abilities and techniques. This week we are recording and have again opted to set the residency house up as the studio with Mo rigging and transforming the space to give us great sound. We have bought in Tane Mussell and Te Ura Studios to record and Lennie Hill is on board to film.
This Residency is one that has started with the right ethos and support now we want to see this as an annual fixture in the Pacific Creative calendar with more artists sharing knowledge and practise. The fact remains that Motone will continue to extend the Cook Islands perception and experience of what Arts and Culture is, bringing our art into the contemporary context and showing that careers can be made in the arts.
It always amuses Mo and I when friends and family look on at what we do and although appreciative often don't understand the level of business planning and management required to make things like this happen. Arts is often viewed as just a fun hobby or something that isn't real work. Undervalued and misunderstood but enjoyed when it is there by many. So my shout out today is ARTS IS A BUSINESS - it should not be undersold. Every component of a show, song, CD, film, exhibition, etc takes project management, budgeting, marketing, contracting, negotiations, report writing, event management, health and safety etc..... Arts are profitable not just financially but also in building better attitudes, addressing issues, building careers, giving communities voices, providing education and true and expressive job satisfaction. Arts create professionals it can and is a career. Work on things you love and here at MOTONE WE LOVE THE ARTS!
Aitutaki well all Murray can say is" that place is amazing!" With the brilliant support of Pacific Resort Aitutaki which quiet frankly if it isn't on your bucket list should be.... Murray and Mo set off on the Aitutaki leg of the residency.
it has long been Motone's intention to extend our workshops and arts experiences to Aitutaki and Araura College. This Residency has enabled us to do just that and the experience and skills of the students reinforces that we have performers of incredible abilities in the Cook Islands that if given opportunities can and should be marketed, promoted, supported and developed. Murray and Mo also had the honour of sitting with Master Carver Tamaura Kiria. The ability and knowledge that Tamarua has is like gold and the experience has feed into Murray's comprehension of Cook island Drumming far more than any text book.
At Araura College the students worked for a solid 2 - 3 hours going over beats to create a rich and full section of percussion composition. As Murray lets Mo and I know the Cooks are the drumming MECCA for him and to have access to master drummers, carvers and rising talent has been invigorating and truly a creative experience. Now we begin the work in Rarotonga and Mark Short and Katu Teiti are so incredibly supportive and excited by the prospect of this project and what can be achieved. We know at Motone Productions that we will create a new thread of artistic and creative energy from this - AGAIN I YELL THOUGH MY KEYBOARD - GOVERMENT SUPPORT THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES. WE WILL SEE YOU AS LEADERS - LEADERS OF THE FUTURE, FORWARD THINKERS, PROGRESSIVE, INTERESTED, ENGAGED AND BEST OF ALL BUILDING FUTURES AND WEALTH IN NEW DIRECTIONS.
Developing the Creative Residency has been an incredible experience thus far from all the pre-planning and trying to find supporters of which big ups to CNZ, Telecom Cook Islands, Island Car and Bike Hire, Pacific Resort AItutaki and our private supporters who quietly sit in the background not wanting accolades but believing in what we are doing. Week one has seen Murray arrive get settled into the great Are Roa owned by fabulous Cook Island artist Ani O Neil and tatau extraordinaire Croc and everyday and night off to either an island night to look at the drumming performances ( again thanks to Edgewater Resort and Spa, Highland Paradise and The Crown Beach Resort for providing dinners for those shows) or to meetings. Murray met up with the talented Katu Teiti and Mark Short to talk and talk and plan and dream about drums and to set the project plan in place. Meeting with drum maker Rubena Papa Ben gave Murray some insight into the mechanics of pate making so knowledge sharing has been at the forefront. Murray already has a piece called
"Sea Gongs" originally composed by Gareth Farr that he will be working on here with our drummers and selected rising drum talent to include a Cook Islands flair that will see those drummers travel to Wellington, New Zealand to be highlighted in the production called " The Big Bang" which will be the opening segment of the 2014 New Zealand Festival. Murray also meet with Rudy Aquino to borrow his vibraphone which Murray is a leading musician in New Zealand and performs on in his Strike Percussion Group.
Murray and Mo are now in Aitutaki and have begun the workshops with Araura College and are meeting leading drummers on the island as well. So update 2 will let you all know about that experience and how the project is forming.
All I know is that this is exciting and productive for building foundations for our Creative Industry. The industry that was mentioned at the economic summit 3 years ago to get support in budgets and future strategies from government departments but sadly still remains somewhat absent! So what to do???? Well just get on with it because Art always will survive. Art defines culture, national identities and lasts the test of time. And as a friend of mine Damien Prentice advised me " ....in 100 years the art of today will still dazzle, but no one will give a ratsarse about this years, or last years rugby. Who can name the team that won the football in the 1900 Olympic games at the time Gaugin was painting in Tahiti?"
Motone Productions is proud to announce that in October this year we will be delivering the first Creative Artists Residency for Multi-Disciplinary artists in the Cook Islands. This
project has received core funding from Creative New Zealand, with support already coming from the local business community with Pacific Resort providing accommodation of the artist in Aitutaki and Islands car and Bike Hire providing a car for the artist in Rarotonga.
Motone Company Director Glenda Tuaine explains “The creative residency program has been designed to create collaborative work between the selected artist and our
community and through Creative New Zealand’s support of core funding we are able
to do this. The program utilises the skills of the selected artist to preserve
and innovate a Cook Islands Heritage art form establishing a forum and framework
that will see the continued recognition of our heritage art forms. The residency
lets our Cook Islands art adapt and work in contemporary frameworks re-igniting
fresh new ways of looking and presenting and producing.”
She went on to say “This first residency project is the trail to ensure we establish a long standing residency in the Pacific so we are proud of companies such as Pacific Resort and
Island Car and Bike Hire who have come on board so early showing they too see
the value in this education project and making an annual programme for our
countries Creative Industry development.”
The residency will provide the environment for an individual to explore his/her artistic practice within the Cook Islands community; meeting new people and artists. The program uses traditionally known artforms and contemporary/new materials and or practice to combine the artist and community experiences. Thus forming the final arts product of the residency. We have selected Murray Hickman of Strike Percussion as the first artist.
Murray Hickman –
Murray is a founding member of Strike Percussion Ensemble, and is now the groups Artistic Director. He studied Classical Percussion performance at the Wellington Conservatorium of Music, graduatingin1993. He then studied with Michael Askill (Synergy) at the Institute of the Arts at the Australian National University (ANU). Murray has been
Principal Timpanist with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, recorded solo and
chamber works for the Anthology of Australian Music and toured the USA as
soloist with the National Band of NZ. He has performed for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, Stroma and Chamber Music New
Zealand. As a composer, Murray has created music for theatre, film, dance and television, as well as an extensive body of work for Strike. He has composed and
arranged works for events and artists including the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final,
World of Wearable Arts, and Hayley Westenra, and has collaborated on compositions with artists as diverse as Warren Maxwell, Gareth Farr, and Kora. He provided the music for
Aeon, winner of the New Zealand Documentary Festival 2005, and his score
for Ensemble Impacts production of Metamorphosis was nominated for Best
Sound Design at the 2008 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. He has also co-produced the albums Strike:New Zealand Percussion Music, which won the Tui for best Classical Album at the 2001 NZ Music Awards, and Sketches which was nominated as a finalist in the same category at the 2009 NZ Music Awards.
Murray has worked extensively throughout the world as an educator. He was Assistant Lecturer in Percussion at Australian National University and HOD Classical Percussion at Massey University, and has conducted percussion ensemble master classes in some of the world’s most prestigious music schools, including the Royal Schools of Music in London and Manchester, the Paris Conservatoire, Korean National University, and Singapore’s National Academy of Fine Arts. He has been the architect of Strike's renowned education program, and was recognised with a Local Heroes medal at the 2012 New Zealander of the Year Awards for his work creating the groundbreaking
Strike Percussion is New Zealand’s premiere classical percussion ensemble. They regularly tour throughout the world presenting their unique and exhilarating percussion stage shows and have performed with groups as diverse as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Kora. Recent performances include the 2012 Korean International Percussion Festival and performing with Hayley Westenra at the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final. Renowned for their education work Strike have presented their hugely popular schools shows and drumming workshop programs to more than one million NZ students of all ages.
Motone Director Maurice Newport said “Motone has been in discussions with Murray Hickman of Strike Percussion for the past 8 months to develop a percussion piece utilising Cook Islands Drummers. His intention is that the work will become part of the New Zealand Festival of the Arts opening ceremony for 2014 called The Big Bang and is part of and education project called Batterie 100. The New Zealand festival of the Arts ahs already agreed to 10 youth drummers from the Cook islands becoming a part of the ceremony due to Motone establishing the residency. We want to see this piece worked on further to become the main piece for the opening of the 2015 Cook Islands Arts festival
that Motone has independently been developing for the past 12 month. We hope
this festival will launch the celebrations for the Cook Islands 50 years of
THE CREATIVE RESIDENCY DETAIL:
The solid intention is to make the residency an annual program. The focus is to
create a platform for artists of all art -forms to be considered and programmed
providing they can show the following:
- A connection to the heritage arts of the Cook Islands
- A project plan that illustrates potential of the work being further developed after the residency
The residency will in turn feed into the development of work for consideration of
Arts festivals in NZ and the Cook Islands as well as other Pacific Nations and
International events. Motone still require further funding to ensure all
components of the Residency meet their plan and have approached several local
and international sponsors to assist.
Anyone of the Motone crew and associated clever people who have admin rights!