Today marks the release of our much loved whānau member Ria Hall’s debut album, Rules Of Engagement! We couldn't be happier for her, and you can check out this amazing piece of music below.
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Initially conceived in Wellington and completed in Hall’s ancestral home of Tauranga, the album’s inspiration and concept stem from the New Zealand Wars, specifically 1864’s Battle of Gate Pā (Pukehinahina).
The inspiration behind the concept comes from a letter written from Henare Taratoa to Sir George Grey, outlining the manner in which the Battle of Gate Pā should ensue, and how both parties should conduct themselves during war. This code of conduct was known as the Rules of Engagement, and is where this project takes its name from.
Rule 1 If wounded or (captured) whole, & butt of the musket or hilt of the sword be turned to me (he) will be saved.
Rule 2 If any Pakeha being a soldier by name, shall be travelling unarmed & meet me, he will be captured, & handed over to the direction of the law.
Rule 3 The soldier who flees, being carried away by his fears, and goes to the house of the priest with his gun (even though carrying arms) will be saved; I will not go there.
Rule 4 The unarmed Pakehas, women & children will be spared.
The sound of the album moves effortlessly from hip-hop beats to lush soundscapes and soulful crooning. Featuring performances and production from fellow FMP whānau members Tiki Taane, Laughton Kora, and Electric Wire Hustle, Hall’s incredibly powerful voice shines throughout.
You can also catch Ria live at the Tauranga Arts Festival on October 28. Hall will perform live alongside The Nudge, who will bring Rules Of Engagement to life in a unique performance.
An exhibition of artwork designed by Tracey Tawhiao and inspired by Rules Of Engagement is currently showing at Tauranga's Goddard's Arcade, and closes October 29. The exhibition will then move to Auckland’s Lot23 on November 3, with an Auckland performance at the same venue on November 4.
Tickets for both shows available below.
Saturday OCT 28 – Tauranga Arts Festival, Baycourt Theatre
Friday NOV 3-30 – Auckland Exhibition, Lot23
Saturday NOV 4 – Auckland Album Release Show, Lot23