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Hinewehi Mohi to release new album

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Hinewehi Mohi to release new album

Celebrated Maori songstress Hinewehi Mohi’s new album Raukatauri -Te Puhi o te Tangi, is being released on general sale by Universal Music on August 30. Recorded with a 35 piece Auckland Chamber Orchestra in February, the new album re-imagines Hinewehi’s greatest hits in a classical style.

It is a measure of the woman’s generosity of both spirit and means that all profits from her new album are being donated to the Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust. A quiet, courageous, and generous soul, Hinewehi has been the driving force behind the establishment of New Zealand’s first independent music therapy centre. She has had a long career in television production and has raised a severely disabled daughter. She herself is a breast cancer survivor.

The album's full release follows its launch in June during the Matariki Festival and its availability since then through the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre. The new recordings are a celebration of 20 years of Hinewehi’s music making under the guidance of many mentors and is a tribute to Raukatauri - Te Puhi o te Tangi (the personification of music). She says she was particularly keen to do the album to pay tribute to two of her mentors who have since passed away: Drs Hirini Melbourne and Hone Kaa.

After meeting UK composer Jaz Coleman in 1992 at the opening of his York Street Recording Studios in Auckland, the two began to explore fusing traditional Maori music with western sounds and rhythms.

"It has been nice to return to York Street to do this album with Peter Scholes (arranger/conductor)," Hinewehi says. "I met Peter through Jaz when working on earlier projects with orchestra. "

An opportunity brokered by Jaz and Universal Music led to the international release of Oceania, a first for a contemporary Maori album. That album went on to achieve double platinum sales in NZ and 70,000 sales world-wide.

It was during the promotion of the first Oceania that Hinewehi was asked to sing the national anthem at Twickenham in London during the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Hinewehi’s Maori version of our national song caused a storm of controversy both in NZ and the UK. However, her actions precipitated a new government directive that both the Maori and English versions of our anthem be sung at sports fixtures and other ceremonies.

Raukatauri -Te Puhi o te Tangi has been recorded to celebrate the artist’s storied 20 year musical journey - from school concert party to celebrated Maori songstress via the ‘hallowed’ grass of Twickenham.

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