Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Award-winning poet, Bill Manhire, and composer/pianist Norman Meehan have collaborated to create the first settings of Bill Manhire’s poetry. Sung by Wellington chanteuse Hannah Griffin, the songs are predominantly ballads strong on melody and mood.

Bill Manhire is one of our best-selling and most enjoyed poets. Norman Meehan is a well-established composer and performer, whose album THE BELLS was nominated for Best Album in the 2008 NZ Jazz Awards. This album follows the strong SUN MOON STARS RAIN, in which Norman set poems by e.e.cummings, again with Hannah singing.

Bill Manhire: “I had mixed feelings when Norman first got in touch about setting my poems. Didn’t they have music already? But I like what he did with them enormously – I feel that he has somehow found new cadences and melodies in the words that are as true as anything I felt was there originally. And I love Hannah’s voice.”

Norman Meehan: “Having set, performed and recorded some poems by e.e.cummings, I was interested in working with material closer to home. A friend gave me a pile of New Zealand poetry books, and as much as I enjoyed them, the poems didn’t really spark musical ideas for me, until I started reading Bill Manhire’s Collected Poems. Over the first two weeks of looking at these poems, I had written six songs, which is incredibly productive for me, but the poems were so rich and pregnant with music they just kind of popped out.”

None of us get much for free these days, but the launch concert for BUDDHIST RAIN is exactly that – free.

7pm. Thursday 23 September, The Soundings Theatre, Te Papa, Wellington.

No bookings. Turn up and claim your ticket on the night.

Two further concerts will be happening in Wellington in late October. These will also include material from the e.e. cummings album.

22 October Friday: St Andrew’s on the Terrace, 6.30 p.m.
26 October Tuesday: St Mark’s Church, 58 Woburn Rd, Lower Hutt, 7.30 p.m.
$25 / $15 Students with ID / $60 Family / $7 school students

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