Song conversations founders Stephen Matthews and Kiri Eriwata.
A Mangawhai music studio plans to turn the stories of New Zealanders facing challenging times into uplifting songs.
Song Conversations co-founder Kiri Eriwata says the project, dubbed Audience Song, will support newly established songwriters to connect and grow their audience despite the uncertainty communities are facing across the country.
New Zealanders with stories to tell were invited to submit them via the Song Coversations website. Eight of the stories will be chosen for translation into song by eight songwriters. They are Grace Duncan (alt-folk), Isla (indie), Callum Lee (eclectic, nostalgic), Eli Moore (indie, jazz), Odds & Ends (indie pop/rock band), Steve Tofa (blues), Em Joy (folk) and Brayden & Leea (pop/rock, musical theatre).
The songwriters have three weeks to write and record the songs and will present a web-showcase of their efforts on Wednesday, September 30.
Kiri says it’s hoped the project will reach diverse communities that don’t often get the opportunity to have their story heard, particularly those that have struggled with mental wellbeing, and who have a message of recovery that can offer people hope.
She adds that due to Covid restrictions, the live music scene has had to rapidly adapt, with more musicians connecting online with their audience.
“This is a project designed to nurture each songwriter’s individual journey through online collaboration,” Kiri says.
Song Conversations aims to cultivate creativity and connection between individuals and communities by offering songwriters workshops, online forums, courses, residencies and opportunities to collaborate.