Highlights from the APRA Silver Scrolls
Last night, musician Aldous Harding took out the 2019 APRA Silver Scroll award for her beautiful song 'The Barrel'.
While she wasn't in the room, in her acceptance speech she promised to spend the money "making the same happy mistake again".
Jacinda Ardern announces the winner of the APRA 2019 Silver Scroll. Topic Images / James Ensing-Trussell.
We experienced a powerful stand-out speech from Ria Hall, Ngāi Te Rangi, as she presented the APRA Maioha Award (which celebrates exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori). She had us repeating the phrase "Kia māia" which she described as "the act of having fortitude, resilience and bravery".
She used the platform to discuss representation of women and Māori in music, asking and provoking: "when was the last time our collective industry executed bravery?"
"Gender imbalance across sectors and industries is something that is glaringly obvious," she said. "We hui about trying to rectify these situations, yet the status quo remains, time after time. For our industry, the disparities throughout are increasingly alarming and frustrating, from the lack of female artists on major New Zealand festivals to a lack of promoters, DJs, producers, technicians, stagehands, et cetera, et cetera, across the board. A distinct lack of diversity."
Ria Hall speaking at the APRA Silver Scrolls. Topic Images / James Ensing-Trussell.
She also encouraged us all to start taking "collective responsibility" for looking after the Māori language, beyond celebrating it just one week each year.
"Programming of Te reo Māori on major radio stations has never been a focus. Let me remind us all that te reo Māori cannot be attained anywhere else on Planet Earth. Its home is only here in Aotearoa. Yet the status quo is to continue pumping time, money and resource into a predominantly overseas-based market. How are we protecting, nurturing and placing value on our reo?"
The APRA Maioha Award was then presented to Tyna Keelan, Angelique Te Rauna and Matauranga Te Rauna for their song ‘Ka Ao’.
Mini Simmons covering Benee's 'Soaked'. Topic Images / James Ensing-Trussell.
Throughout the night, the finalists' songs were taken on by other New Zealand artists to create stunning new arrangements, with the pairings chosen by Musical Director Nathan Haines. The artists included Mini Simmons covering Benee's 'Soaked', Louis Baker covering 'The Barrel', Bella Kalolo performing 'Happy Unhappy' by The Beths, and Chelsea Prasiti and band giving a moving performance of 'Olympic Girls' by Tiny Ruins.
Louis Baker covering 'The Barrel'. Topic Images / James Ensing-Trussell.
Other highlights included a tribute to Aotearoa's "first pop hit" Blue Smoke, recorded in 1949. The short doco marked its creators, Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams and Jim Carter being inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.
Lisa Tomlins, Kirsten Te Rito and band performing 'Blue Smoke'. Topic Images / James Ensing-Trussell.
APRA Silver Scroll: Hannah Topp aka Aldous Harding – The Barrel
APRA Maioha Award: Tyna Keelan, Angelique Te Rauna and Matauranga Te Rauna – Ka Ao
SOUNZ Contemporary Award: Michael Norris – Sama Violin Concerto
APRA Best Original Music in a Series: Karl Steven – The Bad Seed
APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film: Mike Newport – Mega Time Squad
Hall of Fame: Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams, and Jim Carter