Hinemoana BakerHinemoana Baker is a multi-talented artist who works in the fields of music and language.
She has published, produced and performed as a singer songwriter and poet since the early 1990’s in New Zealand, Indonesia and Australia, writing lyrical poetry and folk-based acoustic music.
She also works as a producer, with a special passion for spokenword and sonic experimentation. Occasionally, Hinemoana works as a features producer for Radio New Zealand.
Hinemoana has also edited two Anthologies of New Zealand poetry.
Hinemoana's first solo album ‘puawai’ was a finalist for the folk category of the NZ Music Awards in 2005, and the title track was a finalist for the Maori language category of the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll Awards that same year.
More recently she has formed a duo with pop-rock musician and sonic artist Christine White. The duo is called ‘Taniwha’.
A noteable feature of Taniwha’s sound is a percussion instrument they have named 'The Workbench' – purpose built by Christine out of a Black and Decker WorkMate, some small contact microphones and a range of kitchen utensils, including a cheese grater and a couple of oven racks.
Hinemoana has performed in many national and international festivals, including the New Zealand International Arts Festival, WOMAD and the ‘Tuwhare’ concerts.
"I have shared stages with a range of well-known performers and writers, from poets laureate Bill Manhire and Jenny Bornholdt to iconic New Zealand musicians Don McGlashan, Mahinaarangi Tocker and Kiri Te Kanawa," says Hinemoana.
Loved by those who love language, her shows celebrate in particular, the Maori language and the impactful, no-waste language of poetry.
"I feel my varying creative pursuits are really just story-telling, coupled with a passion for sound: whether it’s the sound of words, music, waiata tawhito (traditional chants), my diving gear, whatever. It's just the delivery mechanism that changes."
Hinemoana's writing has been published in many New Zealand and international anthologies, including the respected literary journals ‘SPORT’, ‘Turbine’ and 'Best New Zealand Poems’.
Hinemoana lives in Paekakariki:
"I've been brought up by the sea (I lived in Whakatane and Nelson as a child and teenager) and I have come to realise that beach access is very important to me, health-wise and creativity-wise!", says Hinemoana.
As a musician and producer, Hinemoana is self-taught. As a writer, she is a graduate of the Masters in Creative Writing programme at the International Institute of Modern Letters, at Victoria University of Wellington.
Hinemoana's inspiration comes from her mixed Maori and Pakeha heritage – Ngati Raukawa / Ngati Tukorehe, Ngati Toa Rangatira, Te Ati Awa / Ngati Mutunga, Ngai Tahu, Ngati Kiritea (Europe); and her love of language and languages. Other sources are the sounds she hears around her every day and "the bravery and humility of ordinary folk."
The duo ‘Taniwha’ released an album – their first – called ‘Snap Happy’, in May 2009.
Hinemoana has just completed a new collection of poems which is called 'koiwi koiwi' (bone bone). It touches on a range of subjects: grief, state terrorism, fossils, fertility.