Apr 13, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views

Traditional Maori Instrumentalist Featured In Documentary

2 min read

Screen Shot 2013-05-20 at 2.15.43 PMTraditional Maori instrumentalist Dr Richard Nunns is the subject of a new documentary feature film produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker and Victoria University academic Dr Paul Wolffram.

Of Pakeha heritage, Dr Nunns has been researching and performing with taonga puoro (traditional Maori instruments) for more than 40 years.

Richards journey with these instruments and his reflections on what he has learnt is being filmed as he travels through some of Aotearoas most resonant landscapes, says Dr Wolffram.

Richard has been widely recognised as a living treasure. His careful and sensitive research continues to be an important contribution to the revival and preservation of these instruments and traditions, unique to this country.

The film also documents Dr Nunns on-going struggle with Parkinsons disease, which threatens his ability to continue performing and presenting these instruments to international audiences.

Richard is remarkable for his energy and tenacious determination to continue to perform, says Dr Wolffram.

When he lifts an instrument, his concentration, ability and musicality continue to astound audiences. Despite his challenges, Richard is in good health and remains passionate about sharing his knowledge and insights into the deep relationship between taonga puoro and the landscapes of Aotearoa.

Filming on Nga Reo O Te Whenua Voices of the Land continues into September this year, supported by funding from Victoria University. Dr Nunns was awarded an honorary doctorate of music from Victoria in 2008.

Contributions towards the films production can be made via a pledge me page: https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/978.

During New Zealand Music Month a concert is being organised at Te Papa Tongarewa in honour of Richards contribution to music in Aotearoa.

In 2012 Dr Wolffram received the Jean Rouch prize from the Society for Visual Anthropology in San Francisco for Stori Tumbuna: Ancestors Tales, his feature-length documentary about the Lak people of Papua New Guinea.

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