“All the songs on this album are inspired by people and communities who are so passionate about our land, ocean and people, that they are moved to make a difference. They get off the fence. They put their hands up. They stick their necks out - even when it’s not the most popular thing to do. The truth is ordinary people can and do create change. RIMA is all about exploring and celebrating people power.”
The album opens with Whole Worlds Watching, the song that had Womad audiences this year on their feet. Warrior Woman pays tribute to strong women everywhere, especially mothers and grandmothers who juggle household responsibilities with community commitments. Seashell is dedicated to the many NZers working to protect our Ocean and seabed. Rangatahi salutes a new generation of young people whose grasp of te reo and oratory is inspirational. Not Alone celebrates a new generation of celestial navigators and sailors in the Pacific who were mentored by Mau Piailug. A Micronesian navigator from the Carolinian island of Satawal, Mau was best known as a teacher of traditional, non-instrument wayfinding methods for deep-sea voyaging. Water People features songman Djakapurra (Australia) and Breabach musicians James MacKenzie and Calum McCrimmon (Scotland) on bagpipes. It was co-written with Scott Morrison, longtime member of Moana & the Tribe whose nightly appearances as the Te Karere anchor have ‘stymied his international touring opportunities somewhat.’
Moana credits Paddy Free and drummer Mickey Ututaonga for fattening and freshening up the bands live sound for the younger, party audiences of the European Festival circuit.
“Paddy was a perfect collaborator, very focused and supportive too. Sometimes I’d wake up with a song idea. It takes me 70-minutes to drive from Muriwai to Piha so I’d stop along the way to scribble down lyrics or record ideas on my phone. Then I’d run into his studio and say, ‘Paddy, I have an idea.’ I’d play the chords on guitar, pretty badly. Paddy never rolled his eyes once.”
Moana & the Tribe is an 8-piece band led by Moana and her sister Trina. They are joined by musicians Marika Hodgson (bass), Mickey Ututaonga (drums), Paddy Free (keys) and guitarist Cadzow Cossar. The album also features haka perfomers Laurence Kershaw, Kemara Kennedy and longtime co-writer Scotty Morrison. The band just returned from Scotland where they performed as part of the Boomerang Project. It featured 21 performers onstage from NZ, Australia and Scotland, and was launched at Womad NZ in March before playing at the Sydney Opera House then in and around the Commonwealth Games.
The Whole Worlds Watching Tour will see Moana & the Tribe play around the North Island in October, November and December. They will be back in Europe in 2015.