About this Recording
76020-2 - NEW ZEALAND - Jade Eru: Maori Love Songs

"The Maori heart is clothed with the music of today, and the music of today also clothes the Maori heart of yesteryear. The Maori heart seeks expression, it yearns to find its voice. The Western song longs for a home, a place for it to stand tall, and together a new music is born, a new voice is heard."

- Tawai Te Rangi

Twenty-one year-old vocal sensation Jade Eru is a special talent who combines a passion for the arts with a love of her Maori heritage. On her debut on Naxos World, The Maori Heart, Eru - working with veteran producer Jon Mark - interprets a beautiful and exquisite series of Maori love songs that capture the splendid beauty of the New Zealand Aboriginal spirit in the context of modern ambient sounds.

This elegant and meditative disc also features the prestigious Kaumatua (Maori elder) Tawai Te Rangi, from the Ngati Pouro tribe from Gisborne Bay of Plenty area, who recites several karanga chants and was the cultural advisor on this project. But the brain behind this tribute to Maori culture is music industry veteran Jon Mark, whose career started in the English rock scene of the 60s playing with the likes of John Mayall and Marianne Faithful. Since moving to the South Pacific in the mid-80s, Mark has mostly worked on his own ambient music label, White Cloud.

The star of The Maori Heart though is Jade Eru. Besides singing, Eru is an accomplished performer in drama and dance and at the piano. She has been appearing in various roles on local New Zealand TV since the age of seven. Following a remarkable roll of musical achievements in school that culminated in three scholarships, she is currently completing a BA in music at Victoria University, Wellington. With The Maori Heart, she makes her international recording debut.

Although the melodies on The Maori Heart are all written earlier this century, they have become accepted as authentic Maori melodies at this time. Prior to the existence of these melodies, there were no formal Maori 'songs.' Instead, there was only a tradition of oral history supported by chanting to aid memory.

In turning to the Western song form, this idiom of popular music now provides Maori culture with a new mode of expression for their experiences, pain and passions, while remaining faithful to the traditions and customs of their language.

Guided by their inspiration and the wisdom of elder Tawai Te Rangi, producer Jon Mark and Eru have been able to capture the spirit of these beguiling Maori love songs.

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