Press

Native Affairs - Soul Music in Barcelona - Māori Television Story, June 2016

Interview with Eva Radich on Upbeat, Radio New Zealand Concert

Article from TE KARAKA - Official Magazine of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, New Zealand Maori

Review of "The Heart Notes" by Graham Reid from Elsewhere

WORDS ABOUT TAMAR:

"Tamar is strength, genuine warmth, compassion, En-joy-fullness, Faith...
Movement, fire, light, connection, divine being, beauty, heart opened, loving, caring... 
And a committed friend and sister... 
Power from the earth, through the stars, with feet on the floor and the heart wide open.
Just amazing.
Just Tamar."
- Tatjana Cichon.  Artist, Spirit, Human Design, Germany.
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"Running to the airport - but need to tell you that my soul feels better today.
Original, funky, expressive, filled with love, talent and generousity.
She is a deeply gifted woman - she emanates art -
Her musicality is startling.
How many times have I heard Body and Soul in my life?
And never heard those notes, those swirls, that love of the song."
- Candice Whiteman.  Assistant Film Director, NYC.
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"Deep, Trans-cultural, Not only "a singer" / musician", able to adapt to a situation and make something good out of it & fully trustable."
- Riccardo Massari Spiritini.  Artist, Musician & Composer, Italy.
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"Generousity, Professionalism, Innate Talent, Persistence...

Let me think, only 5 things, such an accomplished artist...
Don´t want to waste the last one...
Magnectic!  Magnificent!"
- Devorah Korek.  Oriental Dancer & Creator of the Sarabi Method, USA.
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"Serene, Warm, Loving, Friendly, Community Spirited and Inclusive,
Collaborative, Forgiving and Loyal, Persistent and Hardworking, Optimistic,
A mentor and educator, complex, empirically strong, spiritually beautiful."
- Dominic Ward.  Entrepreneur, UK.
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"Deep, Hearted, Wise, Soul, Exact, Creative, I can count on her, Steel horses with her, A Great Cook, Wild and Wonderful."
- Yasmine Altman.  Social Worker Educator, Switzerland.

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Interview with Tamar
A Story by Miia Pitkänen

BARCELONA´S UNDERGROUND SCENE - TAMAR 


Who is Tamar?  "Good question!" she exclaims as her laughter fills every corner of the room.  She laughs often and when she does, the sound emerges from the depths of her very gut.  Tamar is a New Zealander, singer-songwriter, globetrotter, healer, feminist and a warrior.  She is a curiousity in the bloodline of humanity and a living example of persistence to be who you are and do what you must, despite others opinions. Here she reveals her art and life; her journey from otherness to unity.

Photo by Miia Pitkänen.

"I was born in Auckland and I feel a strong connection to my Maori Ngai Tahu and Polynesian roots.  From when I was very young, I had it clear that I didn´t want to live in New Zealand.  I was always told my Maori roots would not be valued overseas.  It was my dream to live in Barcelona and I moved here in 2011.  When I arrived I hardly knew anybody and I didn´t have any money so it was kind of risky.  But I thought: What the fuck!  You only live once.  Spanish culture has always interested me: the broken landscape of flamenco - I find it very beautiful and inspiring, a magnet.  It is important to me to be part of a community and I´ve found that. Barcelona is my home now."

In her second album The Naked Sessions Tamar performs Maori songs that she learnt as a child, songs from important Maori artists and her own songs which contain sacred Maori chants.

"The chants normally were not allowed to be taken out of their "sacred" context.  I´m demystifying the hierarchial "sacredness" of the material.  Some people don´t like that.  Some years ago I received heavy criticism on my first demo and as a result I literally threw it in the rubbish.  I thought I was doing something terribly wrong.  Later I realised that I can´t help it;  This is what comes out when I sit down at the piano and sing.  I sing the songs with respect and love and I don´t think my ancestors would mind that I breath life into their songs and chants.  Another thing is that women were not suppose to sing certain chants as the traditional Maori society was patriarchal and only the men had the right to sing those chants.

Tamar in The Internacional Festival of Jazz of Barcelona.
Photo by Vincenzo Rigogliuso

While she builds her life in Spain, in the meantime, people in the land of her ancestors struggle with the side-effects of the over consuming lifestyle of our modern societies.  Tamar´s family has land in Fiji.  It´s a green hilly island with white sandy beaches and clear turquoise water with abundant marine life, the kind of paradise perfect to snorkel.  In February 2016, Cyclone Winston tore across the island, destroying homes of thousands of people and leaving the local farmers in despair.  For Tamar, today´s hot potato global warming is not a question of an opinion, but a reality that you can either accept or close your eyes to.

"It´s serious stuff!  I think people who think everything is going to be alright in a hundred years are absolutely fooling themselves.  It´s not sustainable what´s going on.  Global warming is real, not an abstract thing."

Photo by Miia Pitkänen.

 

After pondering the journey she has made until now, it´s time to look to the future – and laugh. One can´t stay and lye in the fire, you have to become the fire.

"My dream is to keep on going and growing. And get well paid gigs!  Hahahaa!  It´s hard work to build dreams, to be persistent!  But it´s worth it.  The feedback from the audience is now the opposite to what it was before for the first demo.  Managing the whole production of my music myself is very demanding, so I´d like to get more support."

How about New Zealand?

"During living abroad my accent has changed.  They ask me in New Zealand where I´m from and I say “New Zealand” and then they ask me “But where before that?” and I answer “From the universe”.

Photo by Miia Pitkänen, Barcelona 2016.
Photo by Miia Pitkänen.

 

"Value yourself.  It means believing your life is important, Now." - Tamar.

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