Bee prepared for something different...
merges rhythm and verse
Buzz Words is described as "rhythm n verse with Kiwi attitude" . It's poet-journalist Keith Newmans first publishing effort since the books For People Only (1981) and Heartwars (1984). It's self-funded and was simply going to be a music CD until at the last minute Allan Morton, managing director of electronic publishing house Software Images offered to assist with the multimedia content, and asked to send an early release of 700 out to businesses houses around the country as a new years gift and to show what could be done by with "new media".
Newman had no idea what might arise with merger of poetry with guitar-based themes but ideas began to flow freely he got together with guitarist - composer Gavin Collinge of Rothesay Bay on Aucklands North Shore. Collinge, a session musician and a founding member of Billy T Ks Powerhouse and Ponsonby pub band Cheek ta Cheek, has written the scores for several TV documentaries.
Rehearsals began in February 1996. After five months of rehearsals the two settled on the name Wordworx, and headed off to Scoop de Loop recording studio in Mt Eden. Buzz Words further evolved in the studio with computer programming, voice samples and sound effects being added along with background vocals from well known vocalists Jacqui FitzGerald and Mahia Blackmore.
The lyrical content of Buzz Words ranges from the wonders of the bumble bee in the title track to handling techno stress, challenging the rugby, racing and beer myth, the secret history of the Kaipara Harbour to the inclusive message of the Maori carving Te Hunga Rere Tai. It explores the uniqueness of New Zealand and challenges listeners to rediscover the pioneering spirit.
Newman says while his lyrics reflect a positive approach to everything they're inspired by a sense of deepening crisis in the Kiwi psyche. "Older people have not been passing on and nurturing that vital pioneering spark that makes us world leaders in so many areas. New Zealand is facing a deepening identity crisis, resulting in division and low self esteem, particularly among young people. We need to rediscover our individual and national potential."
"Young people in particular need to break out of the mental space that says the world owes us a living and blames everything on the government. Weve got to start believing in ourselves and rediscover hope," says Newman.
"No-ones going to hand it to us on a plate. Life is getting harder for a lot of people who cant find work, or are unhappy in their jobs or social situations but in the end we've only got ourselves, our friends and relatives and whatever faith we can muster up," says Newman.
"And we have a heritage - a legacy of beating the odds. The do-it-yourself approach is very healthy. Were Pacific pioneers and its our time in history. Instead of waiting for Arts Council Grants, government hand-outs, or miracles to change our situations weve got to be creatively and actively involved in the process of changing our selves and our circumstances," he says.
Newman says the words to his latest offering largely come from personal experience and over a period of 10-years. Many were refined during the recording process. "Working with Gavin bought a new discipline to the lyrics, at times forcing me to rethink what I was saying and how it could better complement the music. I didnt want to sound preachy or demand people listen. The way the music works allows the words to sneak past your defenses so its at times almost a meditation rather than a dissertation. I think weve come up with something very different here," says Newman.
He admits its a curious tapestry that's been woven but says its been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. "I only hope we sell enough to allow us to go back into the studio again." says.
Buzz Words can be viewed free of charge, as an interactive book with sound clips and images, on the World Wide Web of the Internet (www.wordworx.co.nz). The Enhanced CD can be purchased for $30 or a plain old cassette for $15, by ordering on the Internet or writing to Keith Newman, 14 Coletta Lane Te Atatu South, Waitekere City or sending email to email@example.com.
BMG is distributing to all good record stores nationwide from July 10, 1997.
Contact: Phone: hm = 649-8372951
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More about Wordworx // Poet-lyricist Keith Newman and guitarist composer Gavin Collinge