Tiki Taane on being director, producer, performer (and more) in new concert doco

We hear from Tiki Taane about a new concert film that sees him perform live with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

Tiki Taane in Session with CSO celebrates its world premiere with a Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival screening in Ōtautahi Christchurch on August 11 (the same day its companion live album is released).

Having now added ‘director’ to his extensive skill set, Tiki Taane shares more on this concert film that sees his music further enriched by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra—and will be available to see at screenings around Aotearoa.

Describe your movie in exactly eight words.

Genre bending, live looping, uniquely spiritual, orchestral experience.

You’ve collaborated with so many great musicians – how did you approach this performance with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra?

I wanted to cross as many genres and styles as possible to reflect my passion for experimentation. And having Tom Rainey, Hamish Oliver, Ewan Clark and Rueben De Lautour onboard as Orchestral arrangers meant we could really open up musical portals with these songs.

How meaningful was the venue, the refurbished Christchurch Town Hall?

It’s such a glorious venue in which I’ve had so many incredible and unforgettable moments performing there. It was a real privilege to be able capture my show there and turn it into a film.

Which songs, details, instruments took on new dimensions as the arrangements and performers came to life?

The main song that really challenged me was Always On My Mind. The orchestral arrangements that Tom Rainey wrote absolutely blew my mind, to the point I felt very vulnerable and out of my comfort zone when it came to singing it. But with Tom’s guidance and encouragement I managed to lean into that fear and ended up doing a pretty good job, which is lucky as I could’ve easily butchered it!

What was the proudest moment experienced on the night of the performance?

Sharing the stage with Tali and Big Sima was a proud moment, especially as they are great friends. But I’d have to say watching my kids Charlie and Karcia absolutely rock the house with their performance made me extremely proud and grateful.

During production, what was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?

Probably enduring the hundreds of hours in mix mode, trying to get every song sounding as best as I could. And then learning to use Final Cut Pro to edit the BTS footage and make the films intro and rolling credits. That was extremely time consuming and frustrating as I felt like a baby trying to walk. But I got there in the end, thanks to watching many YouTube tutorials.

For you, what was the most memorable part of this whole experience?

That would be the encore and incredible crowd response at the end of the show. This made my heart burst with love, pride, gratitude and hope, as I had no idea that the show would sell out, let alone become a documentary feature film.

What was the last great film you saw?

I’d say watching Avatar with the kids and the kōrero we shared afterwards about the future and beyond.