The Wire


Listen to Fis and Rob Thorne's Clear Stones

May 2017

A new collaboration between two New Zealand natives brings together Māori instrumentation and modern sound systems

Electronic composer Fis and Māori sound artist Rob Thorne present Clear Stones, the outcome of recording sessions they undertook in Berlin.

The album features Thorne playing a selection of taonga pūoro (traditional Māori instruments translating as singing treasures), including the pūtātara (conch horn), pūrerehua (bullroarer), tumutumu kōhatu (stone percussion) and pūtōrino (both flute and horn). The collaboration sees Fis providing a new electronic setting for Thorne's music, restructuring and manipulating the recordings.

Discussing the production process, Fis says, "We’ve zoomed in on the edges of these instruments’ voices. So there are moments where what might sound like distortion is actually resonant saliva in the pūtōrino and the pūtātara. Rob’s breathing in between notes isn’t hidden, it’s accentuated, so are the last flutters and super low frequencies of a pūrerehua as it dies away... We’ve played around too with real and surreal senses of acoustic space, questioning these distinctions."

The album is released on 12 May by Subtext Recordings.

You can read Rory Gibb's interview with Fis in The Wire 392. Subscribers can access the issue via the online archive.

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