Utterance - album & installation
David Long - guitars, banjo, electonics, production
Richard Nunns - taonga puoro
Natalia Mann - harp, zither, gongs, films
Utterance - album & installation - visit the website
"Abstract, haunting and beautiful" - Upbeat, Radio NZ
"This entrancing and quite extraordinary collection of soundscapes... daring ... eerily evocative... delicate and refined... quite surreal.... This is music that exists between the worlds of avant-art music, improv contemporary classical, soundtracks for films yet to be made and performances at sonic art festivals". - Graham Reid, Elsewhere
Richard Nunns (taonga pūoro), David Long (banjo with effects) and Natalia Mann (harp) with Rattle records are proud to present the album ‘Utterance’. Recorded in 2013, released in June 2017 as an installation with films.
This is a deep listening album. It was made by listening intently to the blend and dialogue of the players as we played. We critically selected only those parts which we felt had a true active resonance, then focussed the vignettes to bring out their imagery. Finally films were made, inspired by the images that pass through the listeners mind.
The mood of the album is meditative with moments of choice chaos. Matua Richard's taonga puoro boldly and cleanly shows his mastery of this spacious form. David Long creates textural beds using things like microphones scraped on his banjo strings, interspersed with streaks of theremin. The harp is for the most part simply and sparsely played, sometimes with one simple phrase stretching the length of the piece, and use of ornamentation through slides, microtone, and occasional bits of metal.
Garnering a five star review, Utterance has been described as haunting, surreal and evocative. The true poignancy of this album is that it was the last full recording by Richard Nunns. He recorded this album with a cracked rib, having thrown himself out of bed in a hallucination. He was on the cusp edge of his battle between severe Parkinson’s disease and sanity. Matua Richard was intrigued by the subtlety and minimalism of the taonga puoro. As Jeff Henderson pointed out, what’s interesting here is Nunns’ musical adaptation under the even more increased limitation of severe physical adversity.
Matua Dr. Richard Nunns has been an inspiration to countless artists across a range of disciplines around the world, but his influence on the cultural landscape of Aotearoa is enormous. The Utterance recording proved to be Richard’s last, before reluctant retirement due to his long struggle with Parkinson's disease. A few weeks after this recording, his illness compelled him to pack his wonderful collection of taonga pūoro away permanently, instruments that for decades were an extension of his body, his breath, his heart, and his soul. This album is therefore the culmination of a lifetime of passionate commitment to an artistic discipline on one hand, and deeply held beliefs and hope on the other – a philosophical, cultural, creative, and deeply personal journey that was in essence a selfless act. - Steve Garden, Rattle NZ