South Island Sessions

by fiffdimension



1861 revisited – my first pakeha (European) ancestors, Totara Jack and Mary, arrived in the South Island of New Zealand on board the Olympus and settled in Nelson.

When I lived nearby a century and a half later, I found the address where they’d lived, just below a spot on a hill that marks the geographical centre of NZ. To the north is Tasman Bay, and south are the foothills of the Southern Alps.

I jammed with South Island musicians; studied at the Nelson School of Music; played in Hokitika, Greymouth, Westport, Nelson, Blenheim, Lyttelton and Dunedin (as well as Brisbane, Australia); and recorded the sound of tui and makomako (native birds) in Nelson Lakes National Park.


released October 21, 2006

Dave Black – acoustic guitar, banjo, drums, harmonica, laptop, field recordings, tenor sax, and vocals

Cylvi Manthyng – vocals & phat beatz

Hayden Gifkins / Matt Thornicroft – electric guitars

Frey – no-input mixing desk

Haz / Cookie – drums



all rights reserved
Track Name: Bush F***s Dogs
He eats he beats he roots he sleeps
Track Name: The Only Ones Who Know the Earth's Worth
One female evening ships defining dark upon the pen
And Christ become a jailer
Couldn't separate the me from the iconography
When will the master become the servant?
The curtain arrow word time hand shot to mislinger
& a freefall served them askance
The upside-down seasons untoward uneven innocent
In the antipodean moonlight

Whatever happened to knowing is naught (no he is not) and a slamming of doors?

I would come to the sun setting, doing no harm
& its place were a band of misfits
Tired of his laugh & pay & pray for all to what its worth
He came upon a Celtic crown & caught ye up an arrow field
Not less than mean for all its purpose

All the intents were out of date, the grateful leaving innocence
When progress came down to the table
Gleeful owners trade & salivate
The meek shall inherit the Earth
They're the only ones who know what it's worth
As they work their hands into it