June 08, 2021
Taonga puoro pioneer silenced
The breath has gone from one of the leaders of the taonga puoro revival.
Richard Nunns died yesterday in Nelson aged 75 after a long long battle with Parkinsons disease.
Along with the late Hirini Melbourne and carver Brian Flintoff, Nunns spent 30 years seeking out information on traditional Māori instruments and finding ways to recreate their sounds.
Nunns identified and used about 40 different kinds of instruments from kōauau or flutes to pūtātara or conch-shell trumpets.
The former Nelson Girls College teacher was awarded the tohu for lifetime contribution to Māori music at the Waiata Māori Music Awards in 2012.
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