The story behind a song

I’m in London working with Tobin Jones on more mixes. I’ve mentioned before that, unlike many mixing engineers who ask for references to other music you want your songs to sound like, Tobin wants to know about the song itself. It’s story, the characters involved, smells, tastes, where the song is. So in this episode I thought I’d share a little about what I’ve been telling him….

The story of Ranginui and Papatuanuku

This is how I was told the Maori creation myth, while living in New Zealand, by Bushka band founding member, dear friend and drumming bad-ass, Jean Pompey. Before the world began there was ‘Rangi’ the father and ‘Papa’ the mother. They were having a good time and kept producing more and more children. But the world wasn’t created yet and there was no space for all the children they kept producing. Rangi and Papa didn’t care, they kept having a good time. The children did however and, as conditions got more and more cramped and uncomfortable, they set about devising a way to separate their parents. One of the children, Tu, god of war, suggests killing them but the other siblings agree this is a step too far. Tane, god of the trees, suggests that instead, they push them apart. Only Tawhiri, god of wind, is against this idea and doesn’t believe in separating the parents. Nevertheless, Tane goes ahead and with all his might pushes and pushes, his whole body become taut.. With an almighty crash of light, Rangi and Papa are separated and the earth is created! Ranginui, the father, becomes the sky, Papatuanuku, the mother, becomes the earth. The children discover that while they’d been living in such cramped conditions, they’d become infested with tiny human beings who were now running around everywhere. Tawhiri, the sibling who’d been against the plan, is the only one of the children not to stay on the earth with their mother, and instead remains with his father, raging around the sky, berating his siblings for the magnitude of what they’d naively done. Rangi and Papa are heartbroken to be separated and according to this Maori myth, each night Rangi weeps for Papa, leaving dew drops on her skin, and Papa consoles him by sending rising mist up from the ground to the skies. See you for the next instalment when I’ll be sharing sessions with trumpets, strings and Indian bells gifted in Swiss mountains!