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Music News - Festival of Colour hit The Blue Moments Project back with a three-town tour

Festival of Colour hit The Blue Moments Project back with a three-town tour

13 September 2017 - 0 Comments

The Blue Moments Project, an evening of jazz, blues and spoken word, is back with a three-town tour of Wanaka, Queenstown and Dunedin in September and October.

It’s the show’s first outing since its sold-out premiere in the Crystal Palace at Southern Lakes Festival of Colour earlier this year.

Festival-goers described The Blue Moments Project as everything from "hypnotic" and "transformative", to "like a Leonard Cohen/Jill Scott/Graham Sydney hybrid thing".

The show is a cycle of 10 songs and 10 spoken poems which explore ideas of landscapes, longing and what it means to be foreign.

A collaboration between Canadian poet Laura Williamson, who is based in Wanaka, and New Zealand composer Angela Mote, who lives in Cambridge, the songs, which range from jazz to blues to a smattering of classical and a touch of Bossa Nova, are unusual in that they're based on words that were not written as lyrics, but as poems.

Both keen mountain bikers, Angela and Laura first met through sport. “I asked her to go for a ride. It was a couple of years before I found out much about Ange’s work as a musician, and I’m not sure she even knew I was a writer at first,” Laura said.

But talk eventually turned to subjects other than cycling, and Laura, who also writes and publishes poetry, invited Angela along to an open mic poetry night she was running. The rest is Blue Moments history.

“I was interested in composition and songwriting, but I’d always struggled with lyrics. As soon as I heard Laura’s poems, I knew I wanted to put her words to music,” Angela explained. Laura handed over a folder of her writing and The Blue Moments Project was the result.

The pair workshopped the songs with a group of Southern Lakes-based musicians: pianist Graeme Perkins, formerly of Dunedin and now of Luggate (he was an arranger for NZSO Pops and wrote music for Playschool!), Tarras-based drummer Jeff Sinnott (sometimes of the Nairobi Trio), Wanaka bassist Dominic Stayne and Queenstown vocalist Karen Hattaway, who will be familiar to local audiences from her performances at events such as the Queenstown Jazz and Blues Festival.

The group had also recorded a CD and have put together a book which will be for sale at the shows.

Tickets for The Blue Moments Project shows are available now at eventfinda.co.nz – follow the links below.

Check out The Blue Moments Project website for more information and to listen to/view their work.


WANAKA – September 30 at the Wanaka Presbyterian Church:

QUEENSTOWN – October 1 at St Peters Church Hall:

DUNEDIN – October 2 at Stuart Hall, Know Church:


Queenstown’s Karen Hattaway fronts The Blue Moments Project at the Southern Lakes Festival of Colour, April 7, 2017. (Ray Tiddy Photography - raytiddyphotography.com)

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