It’s been a year since Billy and I set out in the stuffed hatchback for Lake Tarawera – oblivious of what was to greet us or what we might create. First off we thought we’d just do a small fairly cheap run of our lakeside tinkering but oh, how the project has swollen by it’s own virtue since then. Instead, we offer 500 bound, hand-numbered boutique booklets, beautifully designed by Paul Shakesby and replete with lyrics for all you fellow wordsmiths out there. They won’t be cheap because… well, they’re not. Although for those of you who, like us, may be a little hard-up in the cash department, we’ve decided on running a down-scaled version too. And of course, for those ipod happy amongst amongst you – downloads.
So it’s with great excitement we let you know the Tarawera album, All Mountains Are Men, is ready to land into your mittened hands in perfect timing for winter.
SLOW BURNER FOR A COLD WINTER
What do you get when two musicians are sent in song-writing exile to the scene of New Zealand’s largest volcanic eruption? You get a crackling new album rising from the ashes.
In 2010 Billy Earl (Andy Hummel -The Woolshed Sessions, Rhian Sheehan) and Betty Grey (Holly Jane Ewens) of Wellington folk duo Rosy Tin Teacaddy spent six weeks on the shores of Lake Tarawera as recipients of the Wild Creations… artist-in-residence programme – a joint venture between the Department of Conservation and Creative NZ – where they set out to research, write and record their translations of local history and isolation in a site-responsive manner.
The result is a work that explores the lead-up to, and aftermath of, the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and subsequent loss of the self-appointed eighth wonder of the world – the Pink and White Terraces. Rosy Tin Teacaddy have made use of historical anecdotes and found sounds, while holding fast to their harmonic and word-wizardry roots, in their new full-length release, All Mountains are Men. Presented with hand-numbered booklets, AMAM extends the duo’s artistic concept beyond the audio as they translate stories of the past into a present-day archival treasure.The BATS theatre show, Coffee Cups and a Porridge Pot at Frying Pan Lake gave audiences a taste of this experience in May 2010.
Forthcoming single, Telegrams and Ashes, uses snippets from newspapers of the day with a dedication to the local telegraph master. Sitting on a bed of backwards guitar and finger-clicks there is little to suggest this album is merely two folkies strumming away in the back-blocks. There is cheek amongst the ruins too, with songs like Blow Your Top where the duo imagine “the lake and mountain flirting with one another, in a present context – Facebooking, perhaps”, while the lament, Beauty, My Dear swells with loss and hope; ‘Can’t have a clear sky, without a frost/Beauty, my dear comes at a cost’. Simultaneously cinematic and intimate, this album is layered as deep as the lake bed and seeks to provide fans with a slow burner through the cold winter months ahead.
All Mountains Are Men will be released with a blessing by local kaumatua at Lake Tarawera on June 10, in conjunction with the 125th commemoration of the eruption of Mt Tarawera. The ceremony includes the opening of a walking track around the lake, and a handing-over of the cottage where the pair stayed, from DOC into the guardianship of the Tuhourangi people. This will be followed at 7pm by a concert in the stunning historic Bath House in Government Gardens – now the Rotorua Museum of Art and History. The following evening, Saturday June 11, Rosy Tin Teacaddy will play at the Buried Village, Te Wairoa, Lake Tarawera, joining Cornel de Ronde (GNS Science) as he shares his findings of recent exploration of the Rotomahana lake bed and the discovery of remnants of the Pink Terrace. For both these evenings, bookings are advised. Contact the Rotorua Museum (07) 350 1814, or the Buried Village (07) 3628287.
Rosy Tin Teacaddy will be touring All Mountains Are Men throughout the country with Bond St Bridge (AKL) who is also promoting his new album, Spring Summer Awesome Winter.
Fri June 17 PAEKAKARIKI, St Peter’s Hall
Sat June 18 WELLINGTON, The Garden Club
Wed June 22 NELSON, Playhouse
Thurs June 23 LYTTLETON, Wunderbar
Fri June 24 DUNEDIN, Chicks Hotel
Sat June 25 OAMARU, TBC
Sun June 26 BLENHEIM, TBC
Fri July 1 AUCKLAND, Wine Cellar