Tanerore official music video release from Baseland
To coincide with New Zealand Music Month, Whanganui band Baseland, released their debut single and music video Tānerore. The song is inspired by traditional mōteatea (chant, sung poetry) and incorporates taonga puoro (traditional Māori musical instruments) with western instruments and musical forms.
The band formed two years ago, when they were approached as individual musicians to create a set for International Jazz Day celebrations that incorporated taonga puoro and te reo māori. The group have been writing and performing together ever since and at the end of 2019 went into the studio to record three of their songs.
After a busy summer the songs were finally ready for release, just in time for lock down. With time on their hands, uncollected recycling and off cuts of timber, husband and wife team Elise Goodge and Brad McMillan decided to put their time to creative use. Putting the band together in miniature for a video shoot. They spent weeks creating miniature guitars, a keyboard, drum kit, amps and sets. They used found items in their house including plastic milk bottles, meat trays, parts from an old computer, toilet rolls and whatever else they could repurpose for their miniature band.
As a prolific toy and figure collector, McMillan was willing to repurpose some of his dolls to stand in for the band members and Goodge put her sewing schools to use making costumes. Goodge and McMillan, who have both worked in the film and television industries in the past, relished the challenge of making the video. Drawing on Thunderbirds and 90s music videos as inspiration. “Firstly we wanted the video to look fun because we were having so much fun making it, we only had 720p digital cameras to shoot with so it was always going to look a bit home-made.” Goodge continues “creating a narrative with limited resources was also going to be tricky so instead we went for a 90s music video feel, in the 90s music videos were always a bit random and moody, that’s part of what made them memorable.”
The song Tānerore is a call to the deity of dance. It features extensive use of two fairly modern Māori instruments the pūtangitangi and the paipa. The pūtangitangi is a clay flute invented by Hirini Melbourne, Richard Nunns and Brian Flintoff during the early days of the taonga puoro revival movement. The paipa (clay pipe) was adopted by Māori as an instrument when they saw Europeans discarding their broken smoking pipes in the early days of colonisation. To Māori they looked like flutes and as it turns out, they sound like them too. “Both of these instruments speak to adaptation and experimentation,” Goodge remarks, “which is also the essence of impromptu movement and dance.”