Bilingual performance kicks off week

By Cindy McQuade

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Huia Hamon.
Huia Hamon.

The Rogue Stage and Rotorua Museum are hosting a bicultural performance celebrating Matariki and the start of Maori Language Week.

Rogue Stage creator Karin Vincent believes keeping indigenous languages alive is important because it is part of who we are. "As a foreign language speaker myself, nothing speaks truer than native tongue combined with music.

"This evening is about authenticity, a journey deeper than the surface."

All of the performers at Sunday's celebration will be presenting work inspired by Aotearoa that they have composed and written themselves.

The event includes performances by Huia Hamon, Chris Webber and more.

Hamon is a Rotorua-born bilingual performer who uses electronic beats, organic percussion and guitar to create deep, easy harmonies. Her musical journey has included singing with a wide variety of artists and at festivals including Waiheke Jazz Festival, Big Day Out, Sundaise, Parihaka and Rhythm and Vines.

Hamon is currently finishing her third solo album. She switches between English and Maori while singing, but believes Maori is a much simpler way of portraying emotion.

Performing in Maori is important to her and the journey to learn more of the language is a huge part of who she is.

"I was only brought up speaking a little Maori here and there, so my journey in learning Te Reo has been a fulfilling one for my whanau and especially to pass it on to my son," she said.

"I love ambient world music and my first release, Huia's Waiata definitely was that. I've performed a lot in electronic styles like drum and bass with a fusion of live instruments. Sometimes it's a stripped back folk-styled set!

"So, rather than stick to one genre, I enjoy experimenting with a bit of all styles."

Hamon is also an award-winning vocal producer. She won Best Urban Album, 2011 and 2012 at the Waiata Maori Music Awards, as well as a producer's award for Pieter T's album Completion.

Rotorua Museum Cafe is licensed and will be open from 5pm. Doors to the lower foyer will open at 6pm.

Fact file:

* What: Te Reo Maori Waiata and Poetry

* Where: Rotorua Museum

* When: Sunday, 6.30pm

* Tickets: $15. Buy one, get one free plus you receive a copy of Huia Hamon's Waiata CD. Go to www.theroguestage.co.nz

- Rotorua Daily Post

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