Commissioned for Radia Radio Network : Show 663: “Lands End – Rakiura/Ulva Island”, by eves (Radio One 91FM, NZ)

Ngā manu are the connection to the gods, as they cross the space between the worlds.

Rakiura is a sonic and visual response to the remote Rakiura Island, Aotearoa.
Photos from the forests and shoreline of Rakiura Island cut in and out set to a soundscape of field recordings from the experience, transitioning from the field to reflective melodic loops composed after the visit. The combination of still image and sound reflects on the disjunction between subjective and objective encounters of this remote place; simultaneously being absorbed by intimate, isolated engagement while being aware of the implications of ongoing colonisation.

The eerie phenomenon of being watched by Nga Manu, while standing within their sanctuary that holds their timespace, a living time-capsule, whose borders are made of water (the safest in terms of the introduction of other species) as it has been designated to do by the very decendents of those who came to Aotearoa introducing many damaging species. Walking through listening, in awareness that your colonial history is the very cause of why this sort of island is now neccessary. You time travel without any real shift, the resevere, the sanctuary from the Anthropocene outside.

”In early 2018, time-based sound and visual artist Edwina Stevens/eves journeyed to the third island of New Zealand, smaller in size than the larger, more populated land masses of the South Island (Te Waipounamu, Te Wahi Pounamu, Te Waka-a-Māui, Te Waka o Aoraki), and the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui). Alighting by boat on Stewart Island (Rakiura, Te Punga o Te Waka-a-Māui) she created the recordings that comprise “Lands End – Rakiura/Ulva Island,” a sonic meditation on remoteness, utopia and exile, in which the restless, ever-fluxing borderline of the sea and the land, where the trailing songs of rare New Zealand birds fall from the air in the warmth of day like bright, startling lost talismans, meet ways of wandering that invisibly mark the bush, and both listener and artist alike find the value of getting lost in order to renew the ability to listen, to be attentive, to be simple. A document of a place in time, it is also a gentle reflection on the island mythos which New Zealand settler culture holds to itself, in which we are always seeking the elsewhere, but are simultaneously conscious of the special status of the isolated, isolating nature of our ground as geography and topography. “Lands End – Rakiura/Ulva Island” listens carefully to the immediacy of the bounded space of the island, the forest path, the communities of birds, the density of foliage, as well as further to the distance, island hopping in the New Zealand imagination via the ever-elsewhere of communications and recording technologies, to other real and imagined worlds, distant yet immediate through the ever-present sounds of the sea.

Text by Sally Ann McIntyre - Artist, Writer.

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