Planet Woman: Reeling in the Pacific
By Truda Chadwick
This is a stunning global collaboration - five gifted women from Ireland, Scotland, Aotearoa and Rotuma melding in a sublimely spiritual union, weaving traditional soundscapes with contemporary composition. I was hooked from the first bar - a funky little ukulele introducing the traditional Irish blessing, then the swell of voice, violin and bozouki, and the clever blending of Maori and English - the tone was set and never wavered. Mahina-Ina Kaui, Ora Barlow and Kim Halliday (Big Belly Woman, Manuhiri and Pacific Curls) combine their considerable talents with Celtic fiddle player Sarah Beattie and internationally acclaimed Irish vocalist Lorraine Jordan. They have composed songs and re-arranged traditional tunes against a background of haunting harmonies and instruments from Polynesia and beyond. This album of Oceanic soul could have come from nowhere else but New Zealand, and Planet Woman are now joyfully taking their music to the festival circuits in Europe. 'Reeling In the Pacific' is strong, inspirational, unique - gorgeous and distributed by Out There.