A Silverdale musician has incorporated the songs of native birds into her music, including the distinctive notes of the tui and the sounds of two kiwi fighting.
Henrieta Tornyai, who uses the stage name Henika, says the idea of sampling birdsong had been at the back of her mind for a long time.
“I clearly remember the first time I heard a tui sing when my family and I arrived in New Zealand from Slovakia when I was eight,” Henika says. “There is no sound like it in Europe. I always thought it would make a great sample for a song and now I’m finally doing it.”
Henika sourced the birdsong by walking around Tiritiri Matangi Island, recording the sounds she heard with a boom mic and headphones. The bulk of her material comes from the island’s dawn.
“I had to wake up at 4.30am to catch it, but it was so worth it – the island just comes alive with birdsong.”
Many birds from the dawn chorus feature on her upcoming album, Strange Creatures.
The live recordings accompany Henika’s voice, and instruments that are all played by her.
“I’ve tried to write the lyrics from the birds’ point of view, which has turned out to be quite relatable to us as humans,” she says.
Henika studied a graduate diploma in music production at the Music and Audio Institute of NZ (MAINZ), where the album doubled as her main assignment.
“I am a serial procrastinator, so MAINZ was great at putting me under pressure to work on the album, as well as giving me the skills, equipment and support I needed.”
While she completed her course last month, Henika says the album’s release won’t be until next year.
For updates and to hear Henika’s music, visit henika.co