The New Blue Team
We are so thankful to have had an enviable team of talented producers, vocalists and musicians
who fell in love with the project to reimagine and introduce the world to the music of Pixie Williams,
gifting their own magic to breathe new life into their song and its creation.
We are very proud to introduce our amazing team:
The Production Team
Mike Gibson has worked alongside a wide range of New Zealand artists as a music producer and sound engineer. He is also a multi-instrumentalist and has a Bachelor of Music in Composition. Mike wrote the orchestral arrangement for the new Blue Smoke featuring Pixie Williams, Lisa Tomlins and Kirsten Te Rito.
With a passion for creative endeavours his time is split between exploring experimental sounds with non-commercial artists, working in the popular music world and blurring the edges between!
Artists he has worked alongside include: Grayson Gilmour, Leila Adu, Orchestra Of Spheres, Rob Ruha, Recloose, Hollie Smith, Fur Patrol, Steriogram, Kirsten Te Rito, Trinity Roots, UHP, Mr Sterile Assembly and many other award winning artists.
Mike Gibson, Munki Studios
Riki Gooch is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, teacher and sound artist, based in Wellington, New Zealand.
After recording two hugely successful and admired albums with Wellington reggae combo Trinity Roots, Gooch has embarked on a musical career which is as intriguing as it is eclectic.
His name is a byword for a restless, intelligent and profound musicality that he brings to all he does.
From leading the Funkadelic inspired big band ensemble Eru Dangerspiel, to performing and recording alongside a diverse range of artists – from Lord Echo, Orchestra Of Spheres, Crowded House, Recloose, Fabulous Arabia, Fat Freddys Drop, Seven Davis Jnr, Bic Runga and Wild Bill Ricketts, Gooch has shown himself to be both a superb collaborator, and a bold innovator in his own right.
Gooch is also a prolific sound artist and designer, having installed works and responses to ‘Walk’ - Colin McCahon and Paperskin - Tapa Works at Te Papa. He is a member of the Fredrick St Sound And Light Exploration Society, where he continues to innovate new ideas into sound sculpture.
Lisa Tomlins has worked with Rhombus, Shaken Not Stirred, Hollie Smith, Deva Mahal, Shapeshifter, Fat Freddy's Drop, Trinity Roots, Little Bushman, Eru Dangerspiel, Recloose, Twinset, The Vipers, Wai 100%, Jerusalem, Ebb, The Saturday Night Live Band, Opensouls, The Eggs, Solaa, The Five Pleasures, The Skins and many more!
One of New Zealand's most versatile performers, Lisa has been the veritable 'gun-for-hire' for many local bands, cementing her place as a much sought after vocalist.
Lisa gifts her voice to two songs from The New Blue,
Blue Smoke and Senorita.
He has worked with many orchestras and chamber ensembles, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Asko Ensemble of Holland, Metropole Orkest, Tasmanian Symphony, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana, Adelaide Symphony, Armenian Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, Queensland Symphony, West Australian Symphony, 175 East, Elision Ensemble, Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony, Dunedin Symphony and the EX Orchestra, amongst others.
New Zealand born conductor Hamish McKeich has forged an impressive international conducting career alongside a passionate loyalty for developing the repertoire of contemporary and experimental music.
He has established an acclaimed partnership with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and is currently their Associate Conductor.
He has given over 100 world premieres of new works and is also chief conductor of the contemporary ensemble Stroma.
A skillful jazz pianist, James’ piano chops are featured on the latest Trinity Roots album Citizen. His McCoy Tyner-esque licks flavour the title track. He can also be heard on the album Mantis – The Music of Drew Menzies, with arrangements by well known composer John Psathas, which also features Reuben Bradley, Matt Penman, Roger Manins and the
New Zealand String Quartet.
Not limited to jazz music, James plays and composes for one of Australia's most loved hip hop bands, Bliss n Eso.
James has also played for many Kiwi artists and bands including Hollie Smith, The Recloose Live Band, Lisa Tomlins, Iva Lamkum, Rio Hemopo, Bella Kalolo and Trinity Roots.
Jacqui grew up in Dunedin. She moved to Wellington after finishing school to do the NZSM jazz degree on guitar. Jacqui graduated in 2012 and has been working part time, teaching guitar lessons and doing all types of gigs on guitar and bass.
Jacqui loves playing all kinds of music but at the moment particularly, salsa, cumbia, old Jamaican ska, afrobeat, jazz and funk. Jacqui is a very active member of Wellington’s music scene and can be heard playing a range of different styles with bands such as Sulco d’Alma, Lisa Tomlins and the Presidents of Funk, Joe Blossom, Fraser Ross, Bazurka and Afrokan.
Mark is a multi-instrumentalist musician and teacher, specialising in guitar, primarily jazz. He has played in bands across multiple genres including country, blues and jazz, released an EP as Earl Jefferson and plays currently with gypsy jazz ensemble La Bête, influenced by Django Reinhardt.
Lucien Johnson has been described as “a saxophonist and composer of rare excellence and mettle.”
Johnson is the composer for Borderline Arts Ensemble, directed by choreographer Lucy Marinkovich. Their work, Lobsters, inspired by the surrealist painters, played at Wellington’s Circa Theatre in 2017 and was awarded three Wellington Theatre Awards. Johnson was awarded Sound Designer of the Year for this work and was also nominated for Outstanding Composer. The same year he was the recipient of the 2017 Susan Rhind Award in composition. His latest album West of the Sun on Japanese label Wonderful Noise was a finalist for the NZ jazz album of the year 2018.
Stroma is an artistic team combining musicians at the highest standards of excellence in New Zealand. It is committed to engaging audiences with the music of living composers.
Apart from its many self-presented concerts, Stroma has been featured at six New Zealand Festivals from 2002–16, as well as the International Jazz Festival 2003, the Wellington Cathedral Festival 2003, the Christchurch Festival of the Arts 2005, the Tempo and Body Festivals in 2012 and the Hong Kong Musicarama Festival in 2011. Stroma’s concerts have featured world-renowned collaborators such as Roberto Fabbriciani, Nicholas Isherwood, Richard Nunns, Madeleine Pierard, Lars Mlekusch, the Duo Stump-Linshalm, Simon Docking, Adam Page, Jeff Henderson, David Long, Richard Haynes, Warren Maxwell, Claire Edwardes and Pedro Carneiro.
The Documentary Team
A documentary featuring the story of Blue Smoke and Pixie's life followed The New Blue recording sessions. The documentary screened on Māori Television on Anzac day 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Danny has worked with AWA Films since 2011. During the 2000s he edited music series, 'Planet Rock Profiles', and enjoyed 8 years at state broadcaster RTE. He is also a world-renowned DJ and music history enthusiast.
Danny Mulholland Director
Julian Arahanga, AWA Films, has more than 20 years experience in the film and television industry,and has worked on a range of productions with some of the world's most influential filmmakers both in front and behind the camera.
Julian is best known for his role in the movie Once Were Warriors playing Nig Heke, the son of Jake "the Muss" and Beth Heke, and also starred in the action-sci fi move The Matrix in the role of Apoc. Behind the camera he has produced the acclaimed music series Songs from the Inside, Behind the Brush (highlighting Gottfried Lindauer's Māori portraits), and Beyond the Battalion (a Māori war story).