Bilingual husband & wife duo, Aro, have once again teamed up with the very talented Film crew made up of director Hattie Adams, and producer Ryan Bradley, to share & tell the legend that is ‘Tohorā’, a dedication to our ‘guardians’, those people that have been there when we needed them most.
A story of kinship and protection, from near and far, a kaitiaki that has been essential for generations and is, maybe more so now, in 2022 and beyond!
“This song is about the way a Tohorā (whale) is depicted in Māori legends, as a guardian, much like some people can be in our lives. This song is a dedication to those who have been there for us when we needed them to be.”
Aro is made up of husband and wife Charles (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Te Ata, Te Ati Awa) and Emily Looker (nee Rice). The Auckland based pair share a passion for the power of language and music to tell stories and remind us of our cultural identity.
In Spring 2021 the talented duo released their 3rd official music release ‘He Wai’. The third major project out of five for the Silver Scroll APRA Maioha Award and APRA Best Children’s Award Finalists.Their moving new EP, ‘He Wai’ celebrated 5 waiata inspired and guided by our relationship to te taiao and what we can learn from it, about ourselves and each other. ‘He Wai’, follows their first project ‘Manu’ and their second, ‘He Manu Anō’.
Tohorā is the final track on the EP and is about the way the whale is depicted in Māori legends, as a guardian, much like some people can be in our lives. The song is inspired by the story of kauri and the whale and will be proudly released with a brand new video thanks to support from NZ on Air.
“According to Northland iwi, the kauri tree is the ancestor of the sperm whale. Many moons ago Parāoa called out to Kauri from the sea, “Hey Kauri, come join me in the ocean”. But Kauri said, “I don’t think so. It’s much warmer for my roots here on land”. Therefore, as an act of kinship, and to help protect each other, they traded skin. This is why their skin is similar to this day.”
Emily & Charles, met the clever team behind the video, director, Hattie Adams, and producer, Ryan Bradley, when they worked on their Tauhou video in 2019 from their album Manu. Hattie and Ryan met at the New Zealand Broadcasting School along with DOP Isabella Duffus, 1st AC Sabina Wallis, and editor Fraser Deavoll. Since graduating the team has gained experience in multiple areas in the film and TV industry.
They were excited to bring that experience to Tohorā and work with Aro again. The legend of Tohorā provided plenty of inspiration for Hattie and Ryan to come up with the concept of the video. With the help of the beautiful animations by Georgia Shattky they were able to retell this myth in a picturesque, distinctly kiwi setting.
Hattie and Ryan are incredibly proud of their whole crew and the video that their team produced.
“The video depicts this story with two young brothers, one representing land, the other sea. They meet together on a beach and play, and soon decide to adventure underwater together, but after a scary encounter with a Taniwha, the two realise they do not belong in the same environment. They decide to trade skin, symbolising their bond with one another and return to their respective homes as connected friends.”
Aro hope to continue sharing their music in a live format in 2022, despite the nationwide Covid challenges. With a very special bond on stage they are renowned for delivering a polished, moving & beautiful performance, but, as with all live artists/events at the moment, they will be following government & MOH advice and sharing their music how and when its safe to do so.
Check out their new music video below: