21 Aug 2022

Charlotte Yates explores turning poetry into music at the 2021 Going West Literary Festival

From Smart Talk, 7:05 pm on 21 August 2022
Charlotte Yates and Show Pony perform at the Gala Night opener to the 2021 Going West Festival

Charlotte Yates and Show Pony perform at the Gala Night opener to the 2021 Going West Festival Photo: John Chapman

Musician Charlotte Yates explores turning poetry into music at Auckland’s 2021 Going West Festival.

Yates has devoted albums to fine New Zealand writers such as James K Baxter, Hone Tuwhare, Witi Ihimaera and Katherine Mansfield.

The lineup of performers at the festival's Gala Opening Night included Yates, Show Pony, Sandy Mill and Julia Deans.

More listening

The Mixtape: Charlotte Yates

William Dart on Charlotte Yates' Mansfield album

The Making of Tuwhare. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Charlotte Yates interviewed in 1998

About Charlotte Yates

Charlotte Yates on stage.

Charlotte Yates on stage. Photo: Brady Dyer

Charlotte Yates is an independent singer/songwriter & recording artist. She has released seven of her own solo albums, alongside extensive collaborative and compilation work. Her first album Queen Charlotte Sounds was released in 1991 and the single Red Letter was an APRA Silver Scroll finalist.

Melbourne-based from 1993 to 1996, Charlotte directed the 1993 and 1994 Melbourne Fringe Arts Festivals. She studied Contemporary Music Technology and Composition at La Trobe University, Melbourne during 1995. Recorded in Sydney, Charlotte's second album The Desire and the Contempt won the Singer-Songwriter category at the 1997 Wellington Music Awards.

Thirty of Charlotte's lyrics were collated as One Lady Driver and published in 1999. Her lyrics also feature in How You Doing an anthology of NZ comic verse and Cafe Reader, Spring 2017. She wrote a songwriting column for NZ Musician and released her third album Dead Fish Beach in 2001.

Charlotte directed and produced Baxter, a compilation CD of James K Baxter's poetry set to music by twelve NZ recording artists. Performances of Baxter featured in the NZ Festival 2000, the Taranaki & Christchurch Arts Festivals in 2001 & Hamilton's FUEL Festival in 2002.

Charlotte was the artist-in-residence at the Christchurch Arts Centre during April/May 2002 where she concentrated on songwriting and guitar performance. She toured extensively with fellow singer/songwriter, the late Mahinaarangi Tocker. The live album of their concerts Touring was released in 2002. Her fourth solo album plainsong was released in 2003.

Charlotte was commissioned by Toi Maori Aotearoa to produce Tuwhare, a compilation CD where NZ recording artists set poetry by Hone Tuwhare to their music. Tuwhare was released in 2005. Charlotte produced and directed the subsequent concert series at the Wellington Town Hall for the 2006 NZ International Festival of the Arts and the 2007Auckland Festival. Her fifth solo album Beggar's Choice was released in 2008.

Charlotte directed and produced Ihimaera, a CD and concert series of lyrics by Witi Ihimaera set to music by top NZ recording artists for the Auckland Arts Festival, 2011. She also produced the documentary Ihimaera, for Maori Television, in 2011. She released her sixth album Archipelago, co-produced with Gil Eva Craig for Universal Music in 2013. In 2016 Charlotte directed and produced the Tuwhare Tenth Anniversary Concert presented by Toi Maori Aotearoa at the Opera House, Wellington.

Charlotte launched her songwriting coaching service, songdoctor.co.nz, in June 2016. Her seventh studio album Then the Stars Start Singing was released in 2017, again co-produced with Gil Eva Craig. Charlotte was a finalist in the Arts Category of the 2017 Wellingtonian of the Year Awards. She performed as part of the 2018 Auckland Arts Festival's concerts Love Me As I Am.

She curated and produced Mansfield, a compilation of Katherine Mansfield's poetry set to music released in February 2020, with performances in Wellington & Auckland.

(Text from www.charlotteyates.com)

This session was broadcast in association with the Going West Literary Festival

Going West logo

Photo: Going West Festival