14 Apr 2018

Love Me As I Am

From Music Alive, 7:30 pm on 14 April 2018

To celebrate the life of Mahinaarangi Tocker, one of Aotearoa's great Māori musicians, Auckland Arts Festival staged a tribute concert.

Mahinārangi Tocker, Auckland 1991

Mahinārangi Tocker, Auckland 1991 Photo: Geoffrey Smith, commissioned by William Dart for the cover of Music in New Zealand 13 (Winter 1991)

This tribute concert, held a decade after her death, is directed by Tama Waipara and features artists including Anika Moa, Nadia Reid, Shona Laing, Moana Maniapoto, Annie Crummer, Don McGlashan, Emma Paki, Maree Sheehan, Charlotte Yates, Hinewehi Mohi and many more.

From folk to classical, Mahinaarangi Tocker wrote more than 1000 songs exploring identity and aroha which form a deeply compelling narrative of her own life experiences.

“Music is an instrument I can use to find myself.” - Mahinaarangi Tocker

A champion for Māori music, gay rights and mental illness, her fearless approach to creativity is well respected among her musical contemporaries and globally acknowledged. Her live performances were characterised by energy, humour, and a vocal deftness that was rich and mellifluous.

The Creative Director of Love Me As I Am, Tama Waipara writes:

"With the blessing and generosity of the Tocker whānau, this concert is a celebration of the life and music of the late and great, Mahinaarangi Tocker. Ten years on from her untimely passing, we honour Mahinaarangi through her songs and with the aroha she shared so willingly with us all.

"Mahinaarangi Tocker was a bright, blazing light whose music radiated out with far reaching appeal, impact and inspiration. A true one of a kind, her brave and prolific songwriting was propelled by the uniqueness of her mellifluous voice. Her live performances were characterised by energy, humour, aroha and deeply compelling narrative from her life and experiences.

"As a musician and artist, Mahinaarangi was an innovator and trailblazer. Her explorations and expressions were wide ranging and similarly her influence on many artists is equally diverse. Her songs are taonga, as was she and they embody her vulnerability, sharp intellect, raucous humour and boundless creative genius.

"This show is a loving tribute brought to life by artists who knew, loved and revered her.

"My sincerest and deepest aroha to the whānau for allowing us the chance to sing, speak and dance her music into the air once more. He pō whakamaharatanga, he pō aroha, he pō whakanui hoki tēnei ki tō tātou mareikura, a Mahinaarangi Tocker."

Related Stories

  • William Dart shares his response to 'Love Me As I Am' in New Horizons
  • Shona Laing on her friend and collaborator Mahinaarangi Tocker
  • The songs, the singers, and the supporting cast ...

    'Te Ripo' (Tocker) - Hinewairangi Tocker, Kīmai Tocker, Huirangi Tocker

    'Kei Hea Koe?' (Tocker) - Hinewehi Mohi, Anahera Higgins, band

    'Wahine Toa' (Tocker) - Hinewairangi Tocker, Kīmai Tocker, Huirangi Tocker

    'Heart Winds' (Tocker) - Anika Moa, band

    'Papatūānuku' (Tocker) - Moana Maniapoto, band

    'When I Grow Up' (Tocker) - Don McGlashan

    'Tender' (Tocker) - Maree Sheehan, string quartet

    'A Woman Who Feels Nothing' (Tocker) - Charlotte Yates

    'Danger Kissing' (Tocker) - Annie Crummer, Kenji Iwamitsu Holdaway (guitar)

    'Only She' (Tocker) - Anika Moa

    'Cloud 29' (Tocker) - Emma Paki

    'My Love Be Still' (Tocker) - Shona Laing, string quartet

    'I'll Breathe For You' (Tocker, David Downes) - Charlotte Yates, Victoria Kelly (piano)

    'The Wild Winged Messenger' (Tocker) - Anahera Higgins, Karen Hunter, string quartet

    'Ending' (Tocker) - Nadia Reid, string quartet

    'Make Up' (Tocker) - Annie Crummer, Kenji Iwamitsu Holdaway (guitar)

    'Forever' (Tocker) - Hinewairangi Tocker, Kīmai Tocker, Huirangi Tocker, band

    'Picture On My Wall' (Tocker) - Shona Laing, band

    'Love Me As I Am' (Tocker) - Mahinaarangi Tocker (taken from the TriStar CD Mahinaarangi), followed by all performers including GALS, the Gay and Lesbian Singers Auckland

    'Ko Te Nau Parahahi' (Kīngi Te Ahoaho Tāhiwi) - Hinewairangi Tocker, Kīmai Tocker, Huirangi Tocker

    Band: Jol Mulholland (leader, guitar), Mike Hall (bass), Matthias Jordan (keys), Alexander Freer (drums)

    String Quartet: Charmian Keay, Alex Taylor (violins), Sophie Buxton (viola), Claire Cowan (cello)

    String arrangements by Claire Cowan

    Kaikarakia: Mera Lee-Penehira

    Taonga pūoro: Sharon Hawke

    Creative Director for Auckland Arts Festival: Tama Waipara

    For RNZ ... Producer: Tim Dodd; Recording and mixing engineer: Adrian Hollay