By Tania Turei
Christchurch singer Ariana Tikao will perform a one-off concert at the Waitati Community Hall, on Friday April 19.
She has recently released her third solo album, "From Dust to Light" and is looking forward to being back in Otepoti (Dunedin). "It is one of my favourite places, and it's such a bonus to be performing in Waitati!" Tikao says.
The new album, which is receiving high praise here and internationally, was primarily inspired by the devastating earthquake in her hometown. "Dust rose above the city that day from crumbling buildings. As you can imagine, it not only affected us physically, but emotionally and spiritually," says Ariana. "From the wreckage though, people are picking themselves up, forging ahead into new growth and opportunities."
"From Dust To Light" is a crossover album showcasing Tikao's stylistic development and experimentation. It presents crystalline vocals and spacious meditative song structures with sparse, lush instrumental enhancement. Tikao alternates from English to Te Reo – in particular her native Kai Tahu dialect from the South Island.
"I write specifically with South Island Maori historical and cultural themes in my lyrics and musical language," says Tikao. "I do not try to imitate with my musical style. I just write how the song wants to come out and try and work with the songs as individuals."
Tikao has not been resting on her laurels since her previous album release. She touched the nation in February 2012, performing "Whakaaria Mai" at the Christchurch Earthquake Memorial in Hagley Park. She is performing in the upcoming Cavell Leitch New Zealand Jazz and Blues Festival in Christchurch and is also planning a tour of France in mid-year.
Her performance in Waitati will be very community-focused, and will include a potluck supper afterward.