Ria Hall drops her new music video to Te Ahi Kai Pō
'Te Ahi Kai Pō' – 'the fire burning away the darkness' is in reference to finding peace following the aftermath of war.
The battle of Te Ranga in June of 1864 is the inspiration for this song, which was an unplanned slaughter of many Māori. This spiritless attack was in retaliation to the battle of Pukehinahina, where the British found themselves at a loss to Māori.
Directed by Shae Sterling, the video was shot on location at Auckland’s Ihumātao, also known as the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve. It is a location which has been occupied by the local Māori since the 11th Century, and is steeped in significant Māori stories and histories, spanning over generations. While 100 hectares of this land is today protected, it has been a hard fight for Tangata Whenua and conservationists alike to save this land from the growing urban sprawl. It is a battle which is ongoing and one which Hall and Sterling offer their unwavering support. ‘“It’s a space where you feel its wairua as soon as you enter onto the whenua. We felt compelled to shoot our video at Ihumātao to carry on the message of resilience, reaffirming the fire burning within that will never be extinguished.” – Ria Hall “I wanted to symbolise the aftermath of war, the loss of life, and loss of culture with this video. We used infrared to help take the audience to a surreal place, like a vacant memory, a place of purgatory.” – Shae Sterling
Nā te aha rā koe i moumou atu ai?
Ko te kura koti whero
He onekura toto te whakangarotanga
Ki te riu o te whenua
Why was your life wasted in this battle?
The sea of red coats
The land stained with blood
Lost you are, to the pits of the earth…
Ria Stated on The Spinoff that
"I’ve used this battle as a metaphor for the composition, contemplating on how to find solace and peace after the onslaught and dispossession. This song is applicable to anyone through any phase of their lives where times are challenging and encourages an introspective look to find the fire burning within. It is a constant reminder that no matter how tough it gets, there is always a way to achieve resolution and peace within.
Written by my close friend Te Ori Paki and I, and beautifully produced by the incredible Tiki Taane, ‘Te Ahi Kai Pō’ speaks to finding strength through times of extreme adversity. The Battle of Te Ranga is the inspiration behind this piece. This battle was the price my people paid for victory against the British at Gate Pā some two months earlier…"
"The key message in my album is to encourage understanding. In order to understand where we are heading to, we must not only acknowledge our past, we must understand its implications and the effect it has had on the current landscape of New Zealand. We can do so much better in this area and it seems we have only made incremental change. I would love to help effect a dramatic shift for the betterment of generations to come."
Get Ria Hall's album: http://hyperurl.co/RulesOfEngagement
Ria Hall on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/52OzO...
Ria Hall on Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/artist/ri...
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More info: http://loop.co.nz/artists/ria-hall