Aldous Harding (Hannah Topp) has won the 2019 APRA Silver Scroll Award for her remarkable song The Barrel.
Harding is a second time finalist and was delighted to win the Silver Scroll for the first time.
“Thanks everybody. I think it’s wonderful you believe in us so much, and congratulations to the other nominees…I’ll put the money towards making the same happy mistake again.”
The past three years have been incredibly productive and busy for Harding. After signing to 4AD in 2017, she moved to Wales, released her second album Party, which won the 2018 Taite Music Prize, and her third album Designer, both of which were made in collaboration with producer John Parish (known for his work with PJ Harvey and Sparklehorse).
The songs from both albums have won many fans around the world, drawing listeners in with her bold yet delicate style, intriguing and witty lyricism, and dramatic folk-pop arrangements. She’s also kept up a relentless touring schedule, with hundreds of shows across Europe, the US, Australia, and New Zealand, captivating audiences with her uncompromising, intense and focused performance style and incredible vocal skills.
The Silver Scroll Award, which is voted for by APRA members, is a delightful acknowledgment from Harding’s fellow songwriters of the impact her songwriting has. It recognises her memorable and daring work on The Barrel, and will see her name engraved alongside other Aotearoa musical luminaries like Marlon Williams, Bic Runga, Ruban and Kody Nielson, Scribe and P Money, Chris Knox, Dave Dobbyn, and Shona Laing.
One of New Zealand’s most admired jazz musicians Nathan Haines was the music director of tonight’s 54th APRA Silver Scrolls ceremony, which saw a host of other Aotearoa songwriters collect awards.
Tyna Keelan, Angelique Te Rauna and Matauranga Te Rauna were presented with the APRA Maioha Award. The APRA Maioha Award recognises exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori, and the trio were celebrated for their rich and heartfelt ballad Ka Ao.
Tyna Keelan (Ngati Porou, Ngati Rongomaiwahine, and Ngati Kahu) last took home the Maioha Award in 2011 for his work Ko Koe. This year Tyna teamed up with vocalist and former student Angelique Te Rauna (Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou and Tūhoe) and her uncle Mātauranga to write Ka Ao, which is a beautiful piano ballad about finding self-confidence and following dreams.
Wellington composer Michael Norris won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for the third time (he previously won in 2014 for Inner Phases, and 2018 for Sygyt), with his composition Sama Violin Concerto. Sama was written for violinist Amalia Hall. Norris wanted to give Hall scope to show off her expressive power, ethereal delicacy and dazzling pyrotechnics, as he worked to explore spiraling musical processes which drew inspiration from the Sufi ceremony of Sama – in which dancers whirl around the space in ecstatic devotion while also keeping one foot anchored to the ground.
Karl Steven won his second APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award for his dark and bold score for local series The Bad Seed, a twisted drama of politics and power based on the books of Charlotte Grimshaw.
And first time finalist Mike Newport won the APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Awardfor his composition for time-travelling heist film Mega Time Squad - a romping, fun-fuelled, 80’s-inspired piece.
Rounding off the evening was the induction of Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams, and Jim Carter into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. The trio created Aotearoa’s first ever true pop song Blue Smoke in 1949, andthere was a beautiful tribute performance of the sweet bi-lingual war ballad by a large ensemble made up of Lisa Tomlins, Kirsten Te Rito, Riki Gooch, Jacqui Nyman, Mark Sommerville, James Illingworth, Nick Atkinson, Matthew Verrill, Luca Manghi, the Black Quartet.
The winner of all awards were:
APRA Silver Scroll: Hannah Topp aka Aldous Harding – The Barrel, published by Native Tongue Music Publishing
APRA Maioha Award: Tyna Keelan, Angelique Te Rauna and Matauranga Te Rauna – Ka Ao
SOUNZ Contemporary Award: Michael Norris – Sama Violin Concerto
APRA Best Original Music in a Series: Karl Steven – The Bad Seed
APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film: Mike Newport – Mega Time Squad
Hall of Fame: Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams, and Jim Carter
The event was hosted by Madeleine Sami, and broadcast by Radio NZ.
The awards are proudly supported by NZ On Air, Hallertau Brewery, and Soho Wines.