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Review: RECKŌNING TE WAIATA PAIHERE WAIRUA -THE SOUNDS OF WOVEN SOULS at Melbourne Fringe Festival 2021

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences are advised that this event may contain images, voices and videos of deceased Indigenous persons.

Review: RECKŌNING TE WAIATA PAIHERE WAIRUA -THE SOUNDS OF WOVEN SOULS  at Melbourne Fringe Festival 2021

Broadwayworld acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future.

After winning four Melbourne Fringe Awards last year, including Best Emerging Indigenous Artist, RECKŌNING Te Waiata Paihere Wairua -The Sounds of Woven Souls is back at this year's Melbourne Fringe Festival, as part of the "Best of 2020". Despite being filmed nearly a year ago at Arts Centre Melbourne's Hamer Hall, RECKŌNING's message continues to remain fresh and impactful, challenging its virtual 2021 audience. Conceived and presented by Samuel Gaskin and Johnny Hamilton's BEAT Entertainment, RECKŌNING is a welcome fusion of Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures into the music and live performance sector, specifically by using multiple art-forms to explore both LGBTIQ and BIPOC stories.

Growing up in both New Zealand and Australia myself, I found RECKŌNING's incorporation of the Indigenous cultures from Aotearoa and Te Wh?"nua Moemoeā (Land of the Dreamtime) into pop, R&B and electronic music, thoroughly refreshing and insightful. At its core, RECKŌNING showcases and combines the stories of six distinctive and diverse artists: Samuel Gaskin, Candice Lorrae, Kristel Kickett, Piri Neho, Paula Barbee and Mahana Maihi-Taniora. Each artist brings new perspective through original songwriting that explores their individual and shared indigenous connections.

RECKŌNING centres around Samuel Gaskin's exploration of intergenerational and personal trauma as well his African, Māori, Welsh and English heritage. Other highlights also include the works of Melbourne based Pop/R&B duo, The Merindas, which feature Candice Lorrae, of Jawoyn and Thursday Islander heritage (born Darwin NT), and Nyoongar Ballardong Whadjuk woman Kristel Kickett (from Tammin WA). Their two songs "Drumfire" and "Sing Until Sunrise" were particularly strong, as was Lorrae's solo song "Home" which explored the removal of her great grandparents and all other children of the Stolen Generation from their families and country.

While the staging of RECKŌNING does not appear to always work, Johnny Hamilton and Weniki Hensch's set design, and the wearable art costume design of Johnny Hamilton and Asha Sym does help. The real joy however of RECKŌNING is its original music, blend of different art forms and authentic storytelling. The final title song "RECKŌNING" which features Samuel Gaskin, The Merindas and Paula Barbee was particularly strong and inspiring.

For more information on the music of RECKŌNING please visit www.reckoningsounds.com

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences are advised that this event may contain images, voices and videos of deceased Indigenous persons.

RECKŌNING does also contain sustained bright lights, haze effects, moderate coarse language, sudden loud noises, potentially triggering content or themes, including Self Harm or Suicide, Sexual Assault or Abuse, Mental Health, Use of Replica Weapons, and therefore may be disturbing for some viewers

For help please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636. If you or someone you care about is in crisis or at immediate risk, dial 000.




From This Author - Josh Stent

Josh has had a passion and love for the Arts ever since seeing his first musical The Secret Garden at age 5. Originally from New Zealand, Josh graduated from The McDonald College of Perfor... (read more about this author)


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