Blue Smoke Records
Updated: Apr 14, 2020
It was always going to be a special day, but nothing prepared the Blue Smoke team for how it's Executive Producer from Munki Studios, Mike Gibson's new orchestral arrangement of Blue Smoke would sound. In the capable hands of Conductor and Director of Stroma FilmWorks Orchestra, Hamish McKeich the new arrangement came alive.
And then John Shears took his place. In 1948, as a 19 year old radio technician for TANZA, John was involved in the original recording of Blue Smoke. Now aged 90 and living in Auckland, when we heard he still played trumpet for the North Shore Concert Band, we had to invite him to record with us, as we're so pleased he said yes.
For the daughter of Pixie Williams and the son of Ruru Karaitiana who were present in Massey University Wellington's recording studio at the College of Creative Arts, the emotions ran high
and the tears inevitably came.
Blue Smoke was written for this day - the day Stroma gave Ruru's song the treatment it deserved - 80 years to the day after he boarded the troopship at Pipitea Wharf, Wellington with the 28th Maori Battalion on the 2nd May 1940, and a few days later, voyaging further away from home, when he would pen Blue Smoke.
Bravo Mike Gibson.
Bravo Hamish McKeich.
Bravo Stroma FilmWorks Orchestra.
Bravo John Shears.
Bravo Ruru Karaitiana.
Photography by Phil Greig, Philmworks