Slow burner for a cold winter

Rob Griffiths —  30/05/2011
What do you get when two musicians are sent in song-writing exile to the scene of one 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. The duo were the recipients of the Wild Creations artist in residence programme, a joint venture between the Department of Conservation and Creative NZ. They set out to research, write and record their translations of local history and isolation in a site-responsive manner.
Temporary recording studio - Lake Tarawera

Temporary recording studio - Lake Tarawera

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, the album extends the duo’s artistic concept beyond the audio as they translate stories of the past into a present-day archival treasure.

Album cover - All Mountains Are Men

Album cover - All Mountains Are Men

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.

Playing on location - All Mountains Are Men

Playing on location - All Mountains Are Men

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. This will be followed at 7pm by a concert in the stunning historic Rotorua Museum of Art and History.

 Album release venue - Rotorua Museum

Album release venue - Rotorua Museum

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.

For more on Rosy Tin Teacaddy and their full line up of shows check out their Facebook page.

Rob Griffiths

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I ski, rock climb, whitewater kayak and mountain bike. In my spare time I have a crack at being the Community Relations ranger at Rotorua Lakes. Fortunately our office is on the back door of NZ's premier mountain biking area, has numerous rivers nearby, is just over an hour to to the Nth Is best rock climbing at Wharepapa and just a couple of hours from the snow. I love my job!

2 responses to Slow burner for a cold winter

  1. 
    Rob Griffiths 31/05/2011 at 10:54 am

    No problem – hope you get to the release event, or any of their other shows around NZ.

  2. 

    Love these guys – can’t wait for the new album.
    Thanks for keeping us up to date.
    Cheers.