Saturday, 30 January 2016

Skiing sensation at night ~ lightsuits down the mountains ~ "Afterglow" by Philips Ambilight TV

This stunning spectacle is a triumph of art, athletics, snow and commerce.  There are a number of versions of it.  The Lightsuit Segment is my favourite.  It features the recording of "My Silver Lining" by the Swedish sister duo 'First Aid Kit' - an unexpected but delightful pairing of sight and sound.

Those light suits are a stroke of brilliance - both literally and figuratively!  And to describe the ski-ing as 'death-defying' is no exaggeration.  The amount of research, planning and co-ordination that would have gone into it must have been immense.

If you enjoy the sound track scroll to the bottom of this article for their own video of their song and more about the duo.  

For me the making of the film is just as fascinating as the film itself.  You can see a little about it in the video below.  I'd very much like to see a full-length documentary about it!

Here is the full movie - with commentary:

... And another short version with no commentary:

The skiing stars of "Afterglow" are:

And the film was produced by:
Producer: Mike Brown
Location: Alaska  / Alyeska

Here is a look at some more death-defying extreme skiing on comparable Alaskan slopes, this time in daylight:

The featured skiers are: Ian McIntosh and Sage Cattabriga-Alosa

Even the greatest athletes can make mistakes and accidents occur:  In the article below you can read about a fall Ian McIntosh took on one such 'run'.  Before you read or watch further, I'll reassure you that he came through unscathed:

Back to a more stable and familiar world:
First Aid Kit is a Swedish sister duo, Johanna Soderberg and Klara Soderberg.  Here is their own video of their song "My Silver Lining":

The track is from their album "Lion's roar", which I have in my own collection.

Stan Walker ~ "Aotearoa" ~ ataahua = beautiful!

What a joyful song "Aotearoa" is - and a stunning video of New Zealand landscapes and people!  It represents much about New Zealand that I love and am proud of. 

Stan Walker composed the song with producer Vince Harder and launched it in Maori Language week, 2014.  You can read about it in this Scoop article:

I know that many of you are going to want to sing along so here are the lyrics:

Along with Stan are other fine performers.  You can see a more of their music in the links below:
  • Ria Hall features in this song of Tiki Taane's called 'Nana's song', so named for reasons that he describes before the performance.  I find it very moving, and suggest that if you're losing faith in humanity this video will bring you back.  Tiki Taane also features in another of performance listed in this Chronicle, performing "Save my soul" with Jayson Norris.
  • Troy Kingi sings "True Love": This is a favourite cheer-me-up video!  Troy performs it somewhat impeded by actually singing while an extraordinarily deft barber gives him a transformational hair cut - Well done Troy and an equal round of applause to the barber! 
I've been a fan of Stan's for some time now, as you can read in my two previous articles about him:
You can read more about Stan here:

Lyrics to "Aotearoa":


Nō tawhiti, nō tata
nō te whenua o te Atua tātou
ahakoa nō hea mai koe
ka whawhai tonu mātou mōu


Ko au tō maunga, tū tonu
ko te moana pari mai koe
ko koe te awa i taku remu, ko tāua anō tāua
nō te one i Kurawaka, hei tiaki i te whenua nei


Aotearoa, he iwi kaha tātou,
he mana tuku iho mai anō
whenua haumako
wairua ora
whāia tō ara
ki te mutunga



He kōrero tō te whenua, heke mai ki a tātou
he toa au mōna e oke nei e
e kore au e hinga
he uri nō te roimata
te toto o ngā tūpuna
e kore au e wehi ē


Kia kaha tātou ki tāu i pai ai
Whakatinana, kaua e ngutu noa
Whenua haumako, wairua ora
whāia tō ara ki te mutunga



E Ihowa atua
o ngā iwi mātou rā
āta whakarongona
me aroha noa
kia hua ko te pai
kia tau tō atawhai
manaakitia mai

Nō tawhiti, nō tata
nō te whenua o te Atua tātou
ahakoa nō hea mai koe
ka whawhai tonu mātou mōu

Feel inspired to start learning Maori?  You can do it right away exactly where you are - with the Toku Reo video series.  It starts with basic pronounciation and greetings, and over the following lessons extends to more complex language:

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Benny Tipene ~ 'Good Man' is great!

Benny Tipene, what a great track!  This is as good as anthing I have heard for a long time.

I have already listened to two of his other tracks and will definitely be listening to more by this New Zealander.  This man should be a household name!

And a very classy dance act as you will see if you watch the video - the boy reminds me of a young relative of mine.  Oh, these young people!  Hats off to you both.

Thanks to Tahu FM for airing it!

MAALA ~ 'Touch' ~ magical

Magic!  When I first saw this video of MAALA I immediately recognised the voice of Evan Sinton, who was my favourite contestant in the 2012 season of New Zealand's Got Talent.  I am delighted that he is continuing to enrich the world with his music.  

For me there is always a sense of him singing from some intense inner place.  It's special.  

I have watched those NZGT recordings many times.  He sang very much his own versions of "Blackbird" by the Beatles, "I put a spell on you" by Screamin Jay Hawkins, and "Bang Bang" by Sony Bono.  They are strangely moving, and in their way remarkable, and I fully agree with Jason Kerrison who, as a judge on the panel, expressed the opinion that if Evan did an album of classic songs it would become a classic.  

MAALA, I hope you remember this and treat us to it one day.  In the meantime it's great to hear you developing your own style.  Long may it continue!

You can find the interview "The Wireless" did with MAALA here:
I have previously mentioned Jason Kerrison here:

Justice Crew ~ 'Que sera'

Justice Crew: herewith an upbeat and accomplished performance of a cheerful song.  Just what we need.  I've watched it a lot.

Feel more like partying?  Let see some (more) of those hot moves!  Away we go:

Woow, nice one Justice Crew.  (And kia ora, Samson, a handsome Maori face always draws the eye!)

You can read more about them here:

Jarryd James ~ 'Do you remember'

In this track Australian musician Jarryd James gives us a thoughtful and quietly compelling song with a memorable black and white video that matches it beautifully in style and rythym.

For me it brings to mind the sincerity, vulnerability and tenderness of young love.  Deservedly a winner in the Best Pop Release category of the 2015 ARIA Music Awards.  Nice one, Jarryd!