Born Into This

Born Into This

The Music of Rattle

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Born Into This: The Music of Rattle celebrates two decades of Rattle, New Zealand’s foremost contemporary art music label.

This album offers an attractive introduction to the eclectic range of Rattle releases. While the tone of the album is relaxed, the catalogue itself is rich in emotional and dynamic variety, from the life-affirming exuberance of Gitbox Rebellion and From Scratch, through the ancient echoes of taonga pūoro, the kinetic momentum of John Psathas, the improvisational strength and joy of the Rattle Jazz Series, the concentrated depth of contemporary chamber music, to the electro-acoustic sculptures of Dave Lisik and Jorge Sosa.

This 90-minute showcase of Rattle music is our free gift to registered users of the Rattle website (postage and packaging not included). 


RAT-D038 (June, 2012)

This recording was made possible with the support of Victoria University of Wellington

Compilation and mastering: Steve Garden
Design: UnkleFranc

  Born Into This
  The Music of Rattle
    1  Raureka (1:40) Hirini Melbourne, Richard Nunns
    2  Homai o Ringa remix (3:26) Victoria Kelly, Hirini Melbourne, Richard Nunns
    3  Uc Adim (6:16) Natalia Mann, Izzet Kizil
    4  Waiting:Still (5:31) John Psathas
    5  Four Movements for Piano Trio, Mvt4 (3:00) Bright Sheng
    6  Canadia (5:27) Ron Samsom
    7  Poem (3:50) Norman Meehan, Bill Manhire
    8  You Were Born into This (3:07) David Prior, Dugal McKinnon
    9  Sister's Dance, Mvt2 (3:29) Phil Dadson
  10  Christoph Waltz (6:12) Amy Rempel
  11  Five Candle Boats (6:07) Jonathan Besser
  12  Be-Longing (2:35) Kim Halliday
  13  Long-ge (2:55) Jack Body
  14  Soprano Saxophone, Pipes & Handclapping (3:34) Phil Dadson
  15  Le Rossignol: Andante Notturno (3:49) Stephan Prock
  16  Excerpt from Seven Variations on Bei Mannern, welche Liebe Fuhlen (1:54) Ludwig van Beethoven
  17  Dancing Alone (4:04) Kenneth Young
  18  Taku Rakau (3:52) Mihi-ki-te-kapua
  19  Morning Aura (4:53) Manos Achalinotopoulos, Tim Prebble
  20  Sine Language (1:02) Marilyn Crispell, Jeff Henderson, Richard Nunns
  21  Journey Pt6 (3:03) Dave Lisik, Paul Dyne, Richard Nunns
  22  Excerpt from Through the Eyes of Cassini (2:33) Jorge Sosa
  23  Missing Wes (4:25) Roger Manins
  24  Fragment (2:50) John Psathas
  Total playing time  (90:47)



Raureka (1:40)
Composed by Hirini Melbourne, Richard Nunns
From Te Ku Te Whe (RATD004and Different Tracks (RATD003)
Gold Album for sales in New Zealand, 2002


Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns (taonga pūoro: koauau, putorino)

Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns were dedicated to reviving the half-forgotten skills of making traditional Mäori instruments (taonga pūoro) and music. After hearing Raureka by chance, Hirini and Richard were invited to record an album for the label. Te Ku Te Whe (the woven mat of sound) was the result, a rich and unique recording that would become Rattle’s biggest selling album, and one of the most influential albums of its time.

Homai o Ringa (3:26)
Composed by Victoria Kelly, Hirini Melbourne, Richard Nunns
From Te Whaiao (RATD014)
Best Maori Album, 2007


Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns (taonga pūoro)
Victoria Kelly (arrangements and all other instruments) 

Hirini Melbourne often expressed the hope that taonga pūoro would become more widely integrated into the wider fabric of New Zealand music. In 2006, the woven mat of Te Ku Te Whe was again rolled out for Te Whaiao (daylight), a project for which New Zealand’s best remixers were assembled to interpret and re-contextualise the 15 pieces from Hirini and Richard’s landmark album. Homai o Ringa is one of the most beautiful tracks on Te Ku Te Whe, and one of the most appealing of the Te Whaiao remix interpretations. Victoria Kelly's remarkable remix is an inspired validation of both Hirini’s vision and Rattle’s aspirations for the project.

Üç Adım (6:16)
Composed by Natalia Mann, Izzet Kizil
From Pasif.Ist (RATD029)


Natalia Mann (harp)
Lucien Johnson (soprano & alto saxophone)
Sercan Halili (classic kemence)
Dine Doneff (double bass)
Izzet Kizil (percussion)

Üç Adım is one of the standout tracks on Natalia Mann’s superb recording debut, Pasif.Ist, Rattle’s best selling album for 2011. Co-written with her partner, the extraordinary Turkish percussionist Izzet Kizil, the track has a slightly dark and distinctly jazz flavour to it. All of the musicians shine, particularly Turkish bassist Dine Doneff and our own Lucien Johnson on saxophone.

Waiting:Still (5:31)
Composed by John Psathas
From Helix (RATD022)
Best Classical Album Finalist, 2010


Donald Nicolson (piano)
John Psathas (gamelan, loops and sequences) 

Dedicated to New Zealand composer Jack Body, Waiting:Still is the closing gem on John Psathas’ exceptional 2011 Rattle release, Helix. Supported by John’s gamelan and sequences, Donald Nicolson’s piano playing is simply beautiful. For this composition, John revisited Waiting for the Aeroplane from his debut Rattle release, Rhythm Spike (Best Classical Album, 2000), resulting in a work of arguably even greater emotional power and beauty.

Four Movements for Piano Trio, Mvt 4 (3:00)
Composed by Bright Sheng
From bright tide moving between (RATD017)
Best Classical Album Finalist, 2008


Justine McCormack (violin)
Ashley Brown (cello)
Sarah Watkins (piano) 

While pipped at the post as Best Classical album in 2008 by Rattle’s other excellent release that year, Michael Houstoun’s Inland, NZTrio’s bright tide moving between is one of our finest achievements. The trio are in excellent form, and the piece chosen for this compilation, the fourth movement from Bright Sheng’s Piano Trio, is one of the loveliest moments on an album including compositions from Ross Edwards and Gillian Whitehead. The album centrepiece, Between Tides, is by Japanese master, Toru Takemitsu.

Canadia (5:27)
Composed by Ron Samsom
From Irony (FSH Trio, RATJ1001)


Kevin Field (piano)
Ron Samsom (drums)
Olivier Holland (bass) 

From Irony, the inaugural Rattle Jazz Series release, Canadia is classic jazz piano trio fare. Kevin Field, Ron Samsom and Olivier Holland are exceptionally gifted performers and composers, and Irony showcases their considerable quality and maturity as jazz artists. Like every one of the compositions on this attractive debut, Canadia is jazz of the highest order.

Poem (3:50)
Composed Norman Meehan, Bill Manhire
From Buddhist Rain (RATD020)


Hannah Griffin (vocals)
Norman Meehan (piano)
Colin Hemmingsen (reeds)
Bill Manhire (text) 

Both Buddhist Rain (2010) and Making Baby Float (2011) are comprised of intimate, insightful, and at times witty poems by Bill Manhire, set to music by Norman Meehan. Singer Hannah Griffin is a sensitive interpreter, and both she and Norman have an acute feeling for the subtle shifts in nuance, mood and tonality of Bill’s poetry. Hannah and Colin Hemmingsen shine, each bringing clarity and presence to the material. Poem (from Buddhist Rain) is particularly lovely.

You Were Born Into This (3:07)
Composed by David Prior, Dugal McKinnon
From Who’s Most Lost? (Arcades, RATD026)


David Prior (vocals, all instruments and programming)
Dugal McKinnon (backing vocal)
Ella Turk-Richards (backing vocal) 

Rattle has a reputation for releasing albums that eschew easy categorisation, music that is frequently genre-crossing if not genre-defying. The subverted 'pop sensibility' of Arcades sits perfectly with Rattle's penchant for music that follows its own compass, and the musical map being charted by the group has a very welcome home at Rattle. You were born into this is the closest we’ve come to releasing a ‘single’.

Sister's Dance, Mvt 2 (3:29)
Composed by Phil Dadson
From You Hit Him He Cry Out (Dan Poynton, RATD006)
Best Classical Album, 1998


Dan Poynton (piano) 

Michael Houstoun described Dan Poynton as a highly imaginative, uncompromisingly individual musician with an ability to convey his personal enjoyment of music to audiences. Dan toured extensively when You Hit Him He Cry Out was released, and the album was widely praised by critics and audiences alike. One of the standout tracks is Phil Dadson’s beautiful Sister’s Dance.

Christoph Waltz (6:12)
Composed by Amy Rempel
From Chatter (Amy Rempel, RATJ1006)


Amy Rempel (piano)
Jeremy Allen (bass)
Jason Tiemann (drums) 

With the release of Chatter, Rattle introduced the formidable talent of pianist/composer Amy Rempel. With a background in contemporary new-music and improvisational jazz, Amy’s musical sensibility is broad and adventurous. With strong support from bassist Jeremy Allen and drummer Jason Tiemann, the seven tracks on her debut outing are negotiated with great dexterity and exceptional musicianship.

Five Candle Boats (6:07)
Composed by Jonathan Besser
From Campursari (RATD024)


Chris O’Connor (drums)
Miranda Adams (violin, gamelan)
Jim Langabeer (soprano saxophone) 

Inspired by the meditative grace of Javanese gamelan, Jonathan Besser’s Campursari is a work of simplicity and beauty. The album takes its title from an Indonesian musical term used to describe music that combines Western and gamelan instruments. While Jonathan Besser has worked frequently with gamelan in improvisational settings, this is the first time he has written specifically for them. Five candle boats is tranquil and meditative, rich in sounds and images that evoke Eastern village life.

Be-Longing (2:35)
Composed by Kim Halliday
From Touch Wood (Gitbox, RATD005)


Kim Halliday (guitar)
Jonathan Pease (guitar)
Nigel Gavin (fretless piano)
Duncan Haynes (cello)
Sarah Gregory (violin) 

Nigel Gavin, Kim Halliday, Jonathan Pease and Russell Hughes were the core-group of Gitbox Rebellion, the all-acoustic guitar ensemble that recorded Rattle’s very first release in 1991, Pesky Digits. For their follow-up album, they expanded the tonal range of the Gitbox sound with the help of a few friends. Touch Wood is infused with a colourful mix of generic and cultural influences, inventive performance and recording techniques, and an infectious musical passion. Kim Halliday’s Be-Longing encapsulates the spirit and tonal variety of this immensely attractive album.

Long-ge (2:55)
Composed by Jack Body
From Pulse (RATD009
Best Classical Album, 2002 


Helene Pohl (violin)
Douglas Bellman (violin)
Gillian Ansell (viola)
Rolf Gjeisten (cello) 

Long-ge is the first of Jack Body’s Three Transcriptions for String Quartet, a work commissioned and first performed by the celebrated Kronos Quartet. This NZ String Quartet version is a particularly strong rendition, in which the Chinese folk music base is given slightly more emphasis. Jack is a master at revealing the similarities between seemingly unconnected folk cultures while setting them in the context of a more universal musical language.

Soprano Saxophone, Pipes & Handclapping (3:34)
Composed by Phil Dadson
From Songs For Heroes (From Scratch, RATD002)


Phil Dadson (Pipes & Hand Clapping)
James McCarthy (Pipes & Hand Clapping)
Walter Muller (Pipes & Hand Clapping)
Neville Hall (soprano saxophone) 

Looking and sounding better than ever, From Scratch’s Songs for Heroes was recently remastered, repackaged and reissued to celebrate Rattle’s 20th anniversary. The album was our second release back in 1992, and it remains one of the most successful of all From Scratch recordings. The instruments have great presence and weight, and the passion and commitment in the music is vivid and affecting. This track is one of the more reflective passages on the album, and features Neville Hall on soprano saxophone.

Le Rossignol: Andante Notturno (3:49)
Composed by Stephan Prock
From Stradivariazioni (RATD032)


Martin Riseley (violin)
Deidre Irons (piano) 

Martin Riseley and Diedre Irons commissioned Stephan Prock to compose Stradivariazioni for their 2011 tour of New Zealand. The composition is a ‘Theme and Variations’ with each variation cast in the form of a character piece. The individual variations themselves bear names of actual Stradivarius violins still in existence today, and in each movement Prock sought to capture an essence or aspect either of the violin itself (the colour of the varnish, individual details of scrollwork, sound quality) or a resonance with its given name and history. In Le Rossignol, Prock evokes the nightingale’s song emanating from within the shadows of the forest at night.

Seven Variations on Bei Männern, welche Liebe Fühlen from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, WoO 46 (Excerpt, 1:54) 
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
From Beethoven Cello Works Vol 1 (RATD035)


Inbal Megiddo (cello)
Jian Liu (piano) 

Taken from the first of two proposed volumes of Beethoven cello music (the second album is planned for release in late 2012), this excerpt from Seven Variations in Bei Mannern, weiche Liebe Fuhlen from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (WoO 46) is a vibrant example of the extraordinary talents of Inbal Megiddo and Jian Liu. Their seemingly effortless concentration is exceptional, and the standard of their musicianship is deeply expressive.

Dancing Alone (4:04)
Composed by Kenneth Young
From Inland (RATD016)
Best Classical Album, 2008


Michael Houstoun (piano) 

One of New Zealand’s finest classical pianists, Michael Houstoun produced a beautiful and challenging album with Inland, a double CD of carefully selected compositions for solo piano by some of his favourite New Zealand composers. Dancing Alone is the second of Five Pieces for Solo Piano by composer, conductor and producer, Kenneth Young, an extremely beautiful composition, beautifully played.

Taku Rakau (3:52)
Composed by Mihi-ki-te-kapua
From Te More (RATD028)


Whirimako Black (vocals)
Richard Nunns (taonga pūoro)
Steve Garden (sound design) 

This masterwork was composed by Mihi-ki-te-kapua, one of the outstanding exponents of the moteatea tradition. Whirimako Black brings an impressive gravity and weight to her interpretation of this wonderful song, maintaining an understated emotional poignancy throughout, perfectly supported by Richard Nunns’ sensitive taonga pūoro and Steve Garden’s rich but unimposing sound design.

Morning Aura (4:53)
Composed by Manos Achalinotopoulos, Tim Prebble
From Flight on Light (RATD021)

Manos Achalinotopoulos (clarino)
Tim Prebble (synthesizer, sound design)

Clarinettist Manos Achalinotopoulos is one of Greece’s finest and emotive musicians. His music is grounded in folk traditions, but his performances transport the listener into profound and mystical realms. On Flight on Light, he collaborates with New Zealand musicians David Downes, Steve Garden, John Psathas and Tim Prebble. Morning Aura is one of two collaborations with Tim, an atmospheric piece with a moody melancholic sensibility.

Sine Language (1:02)
Composed by Marilyn Crispell, Jeff Henderson, Richard Nunns
From This Appearing World (RATD027)


Marilyn Crispell (piano)
Jeff Henderson (reeds)
Richard Nunns (taonga pūoro) 

The ancient sonorities of taonga pūoro again find themselves in a challenging setting. Marilyn Crispell and Jeff Henderson weave an array of mysterious sonic textures and nuances around the evocative instruments of Richard Nunns, resulting in a work that is neither jazz, world, nor contemporary classical, but one in which elements from each discipline combine to achieve something entirely unique.

Journey, Pt 6 (3:03)
Composed by Dave Lisik, Paul Dyne, Richard Nunns
From Hikoi | Journey (RATD036)


Richard Nunns
Paul Dyne
Dave Lisik

Hikoi | Journey is a double CD featuring two works cut from the same cloth. Hikoi is a selection of musical conversations between Richard Nunns and Paul Dyne, two friends with a musical relationship spanning four decades. Journey is an elaboration on the ‘source material’ of Hikoi, from which Dave Lisik composed a suite of pieces for an improvising ensemble of piano, sax and electronics. The albums offer a fascinating comparison between the relative minimalism of the original conception against the intricate palette of Lisik’s densely layered variation.

Through the Eyes of Cassini (Excerpt, 2:33)
Composed by Jorge Sosa
From Enceladus (RATD034)


Dave Lisik (trumpet)
Jorge Sosa (electronics) 

Dave Lisik takes center stage on the fascinating Enceladus, an album composed by New York-based new music and electro-acoustic composer, Jorge Sosa. Dave's trumpet playing lends the album a distinct jazz sensibility throughout, but the fundamental nature of the work is resolutely genre-defying. This masterful, beautifully produced work is wholly contemporary and uncompromisingly forward-looking. Like all of Dave Lisik and Jorge Sosa's albums, Enceladus will reward the active, fully engaged listener.

Missing Wes (4:25)
Composed by Roger Manins
From Trio (RATJ1002)


Roger Manins (saxophone)
Reuben Bradley (drums)
Mostyn Cole (bass) 

Dedicated to the memory of his father, Roger Manins’ Missing Wes has a reflective and unsentimental poignancy. Sensitively performed by all three musicians, this track is a highlight on what is one of the very best, but curiously underrated albums from the Rattle Jazz Series. In many ways Trio defines the aspirations for the Jazz Series, an album that will in time find the recognition it deserves.

Fragment (2:50)
Composed by John Psathas
From View From Olympus (RATD015)
Best Classical Album, 2007


Michael Houstoun (piano)
Pedro Carneiro (vibraphone) 

The closing movement of John Psathas’ monumental concerto for piano and percussion, View From Olympus, Fragment is a perfectly formed gem. Michael Houstoun and Pedro Carneiro are at the top of their game, negotiating the delicate nuances of the piece with great perception and intuition. View From Olympus, is Rattle’s most ambitious recording project to date, taking a number of years and a tremendous amount of dedication to realise. It stands as a testament to Rattle’s overriding aim to provide an inspirational platform for the extraordinary diversity of music unique to this country, and to bring this rich sound-scape to the wider world.



C&P Rattle Records 2012