This unique gig was less of a single concert than three separate mini-concerts, featuring three sets of brand new jazz, by three of Aotearoa’s most exciting musicians and composers: Seth Boy, Olivier Holland and Sally Gates. The new music in the Sunday Mixtape was commissioned by the Wellington Jazz Festival.
Seth Boy: Farewell, Sweet Stranger
The first featured artist was Filipino-New Zealander, Seth Boy. Seth is a bass player and composer. His commissioned work drew from his own Tagalog heritage, as well as the sounds of Spanish colonisation, and the roots of African American jazz.
'Farewell, Sweet Stranger' pays homage to José Rizal, a doctor, writer and national hero of the Philippines, who was executed by the Spanish regime. The title comes from the final verse of Rizal’s last poem ‘Mi Ultimo Adios’ (‘My Last Farewell’), written while awaiting execution.
With Seth on the bandstand were Rachelle Eastwood (flute), Leah Thomas (clarinet), Bryn van Vliet (alto saxophone), Louisa Williamson (tenor saxophone), James Guilford (trumpet), Kaito Walley (trombone), Ayrton Foote (piano), and Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa (drums).
Olivier Holland: For Thabani (FT), 7th Battle (It starts how it ends), RAI MONDE
Olivier Holland is originally from Germany, and now plays and teaches bass at the University of Auckland. His musical influences stretch across the globe, and this set draws on musical traditions from Algeria, Zimbabwe, and Europe.
In 'For Thabani (FT)', the first of three original works Holland composed for this commission, you can hear the musicians of his band, G-Jazz-5 interweaving with each other conversationally, sometimes working together and sometimes even arguing. The homeland of the work’s dedicatee, Thabani Gapara, is referenced through the evocation of a Zimbabwean dance used during harvest celebrations.
GJazz-5 is made up of Roger Manins and Thabari Gapara (saxophone), Kevin Field (piano), and Steve Thomas (drums).
Sally Gates: Thought and Terraform
The third and final Sunday Mixtape mini-concert was a solo set from versatile experimental guitarist Sally Gates. Her music employs an array of effect and loop pedals, and encompasses progressive metal, avant-garde, and avant-rock.
'Thought and Terraform', Gates says, is "based on the hallucinatory nature of reality, surrealism and science fiction". It also reflects her experience returning to New Zealand after four years in New York isolated and cut off from home.
Producers/Engineers: Steve Burridge & William Saunders
Script: Nick Tipping / SOUNZ / Ryan Smith
Music Alive Producer: Ryan Smith
Recorded by RNZ at the Opera House, Wellington