The Spinoff presents the video premiere of Ria Hall’s ‘Te Ahi Kai Pō’, directed by Shae Sterling, inspired by the Battle of Te Ranga in June of 1864.
Ria Hall says:
I’ve used this battle as a metaphor for the composition, contemplating on how to find solace and peace after the onslaught and dispossession. This song is applicable to anyone through any phase of their lives where times are challenging and encourages an introspective look to find the fire burning within. It is a constant reminder that no matter how tough it gets, there is always a way to achieve resolution and peace within.
Written by my close friend Te Ori Paki and I, and beautifully produced by the incredible Tiki Taane, ‘Te Ahi Kai Pō’ speaks to finding strength through times of extreme adversity. The Battle of Te Ranga is the inspiration behind this piece. This battle was the price my people paid for victory against the British at Gate Pā some two months earlier…
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Nā te aha rā koe i moumou atu ai?
Ko te kura koti whero
He onekura toto te whakangarotanga
Ki te riu o te whenua
Why was your life wasted in this battle?
The sea of red coats
The land stained with blood
Lost you are, to the pits of the earth…
The key message in my album is to encourage understanding. In order to understand where we are heading to, we must not only acknowledge our past, we must understand its implications and the effect it has had on the current landscape of New Zealand. We can do so much better in this area and it seems we have only made incremental change. I would love to help effect a dramatic shift for the betterment of generations to come.
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