RiUWAKA single


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The instrumentation of this piece is inspired by my love affair with Bulgarian Folklore rhythms but played on my Little Martin guitar, like a harp. I have developed my own style of finger-picking to interpret the odd-meters, in this case mostly a 13/16. The vocal melodies are tenderly ornamented and delivered in an intimate style, like a prayer. The story is one of reaching beyond the feeling of fracture in relationship, and passing through into the inevitable wholeness of surrender. My parts (voice/guitar) were recorded in an old silk-worm factory... a beautiful stone-floor, high-ceiling, luminous music studio, in the Cevennes mountains in the South of France. The percussion element came later, through meeting a wonderful Australian musician, Tunji Beier, on a festival stage. Tunji here plays the Kanjira - a South Indian frame drum - with both subtlety and spirit.

Riuwaka (Riwaka) is the name of a water resurgence at the foot of Takaka Hill, in Te Wai Pounamu (South Island of Aotearoa/New Zealand). Many come to drink the healing waters distilled by the quartz mountain labyrinth above. The song was written in this location and inspired by the purifying qualities of the resurgence, both physically and spiritually.

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You are like the sun -

How is it possible that you chose the light?
Seems like another bird walked into your mind
How is it possible that I chose the light?
Seems like another bird walked into my mind

'cause the water's so clear, I can't resist it
'cause the water's so clear, I will surrender
And let the shadows show me the sun...

You are like the moon -

How is it possible that you felt as though
You were half a man when, in truth you are whole?
How is it possible that I felt as though
You was half a woman when, in truth I am whole?

'cause the water's so clear, you can't resist it
'cause the water's so clear, we will surrender
And let the shadows show us the sun...


TUi MAMAKi - Vocals, Guitar, Composition
Tunji Beier - Percussion (Kanjira)

Recorded/Mixed by Patrick Jauneaud
Mastered by Mike Gibson at Munki
Photography - Shannon Schnittker


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TUi MAMAKi New Zealand

Haunting, spirited vocals over hypnotic odd-meter grooves.  A meeting of delicacy and power.  Original compositions inspired by TUi MAMAKi’s love affair with Bulgaria, spliced with traditional song, these are stories of love, harvest, death & transcendence.

TUi MAMAKi is a vocal explorer, performer, composer/arranger, born in France, raised in Aotearoa/NZ and often found in Bulgaria...
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