Rangatira – Riki Gooch and Alistair Fraser

Words by Ruby Solly https://www.pyramidclub.org.nz/playing-them-room

Riki Gooch and Alistair Fraser have come together to create ‘Rangatira’; an album dedicated to their mutual friend Eddie Tutaki. The pair met through Tutaki in Dunedin where they were raised, then Fraser and Gooch moved to Wellington where they continued both their friendship and music careers. Gooch going on to play in a wide range of high profile New Zealand ensembles as a percussionist, composer, and now conductor, while Fraser went on to become one of Aotearoa’s leading experts and players of ngā taonga pūoro. The initial nationwide rāhui for Covid-19 inspired the two friends and musicians to create an album that could act as a tribute to, and a meditation for their friend Eddie.

Gooch describes the therapeutic side of creating Rangatira: “It’s almost like a whakanoa in a way. It was an impulse, and it was quite simple within that. During that (initial) lockdown we just thought “let’s do something for Ed” and it felt like because of that intention behind it, it felt like everything we played was coming from trying to capture that visceral feeling around grief. Some of those pieces too try to capture that feeling, that finality of death. The brutal-ness of it all and the way he went. I wanted to keep it raw”

Graham Reid https://www.elsewhere.co.nz/music/9588/riki-gooch-alistair-fraser-rangatira-noa-records-digital-outlets/

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