Sandy Wakefield

Nō hea tōku reo (2020)

4 min 43 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

Nō hea tōku reo? Nō hea tōku reo? Nō hea tōku reo? Where is my sound from? To whom does my language belong? Where does my voice come from?

Nō ngā hau ororua e hau mai nei?  From the imaginary voices in the wind that come towards me?

Nō ngā pūrākau i te wao tapu nui a Tāne?  Does it belong to the ancient legend of  the vast sacred woods of Tane?

Nō ngā manu tīoriori i te pā harakeke?  From the resounding birds in the harakeke bush? The flax symbolises family and intergenerational relationships.

Nō ngā wai pūwawau e rere ana ki te moana e ngunguru nei i te ao, i te pō?  Does it belong to the spirit voices heard in sea that groan and rumble continuously every day and every night?

Contained within these words is the essence of our great ancestral understanding of a connected universe. They speak of the mauri that binds us, through whakapapa, to the heavens, to the earth, and to Wainuiātea, the progenitor of all oceans. Our ancestors figured out thousands of years ago that what happens in the heavens is reflected on Earth and across the vast oceans. Year by year, the planets, moon, sun and stars guide us on how to live in harmony with our environment.

Nō hea tōku reo is about recontextualising and transforming Māori ideals and philosophy into empowering narratives through the use of new and found media. The editing techniques I experiment with reflect this. By using the technology in a way that it is not meant to be used—morphing and pulling at the picture digitally—this is a way of breaking down existing technology to create a new meanings and aesthetics. Sound is fragmented and digested through engineering software. In this work, I experiment with audio 'pick-ups' from an electric guitar and contact mics to record the magnetic signals that are transmitted in the atmosphere—recording the sound of the universe around me.

Sandy Wakefield

Other works by Sandy Wakefield

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