AWA: Echoes of Rivers and Journeys

“AWA,” which means ‘river’ in Te Reo Māori, represents a personal and musical journey inspired by the significant rivers of my life – the Vistula, Thames, and Waikato. This album is like a soundtrack for a film yet to be made, reflecting my awe and wonder as I experienced the unparalleled beauty of Aotearoa New Zealand and its profound Māori culture for the first time.

AWA is dedicated to my brothers: Marcin who sadly won’t get to hear this and Michał who is my most favourite person to talk to. Extra special thanks to Catherine who is my beacon, period.

Creating “AWA” was a deeply collaborative effort, involving incredibly talented musicians from around the world. Here’s who brought this vision to life:

Musicians:

  • Maciek Hrybowicz – Guitars, programming
  • Caylen Crawford – Keyboards, bass, arrangements
  • Noel Kaa Reid – Percussion
  • Alberto Santarelli – Double bass
  • Andrew Hewat – Drums
  • Grant Mason – Trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Andrew Blake – Saxophones, flute
  • Artur Dutkiewicz – Piano
  • Elizabeth Gray – Vocals, traditional Māori instruments
  • Rob Hughes – Saxophones
  • Carlos Pla – Bass
  • Hinemoa Pohatu – Vocals
  • Te Aturangi Stewart – Karakia, vocals

AWA Credits:

  • All compositions by Maciek Hrybowicz, except “Fantalia” by Andrew Blake and Maciek Hrybowicz.
  • Karanga by Elizabeth Gray and Te Aturangi Stewart; Karakia by Te Aturangi Stewart
  • Produced Maciek Hrybowicz
  • Recorded at The Porch Recording Studio in Hamilton, Aotearoa
  • Engineered by Regan John McKinnon
  • Cover artwork “Sensualité au Végétal” by Bogdan Korczowski
  • Album cover design by Daniela Catucci, with photography by Mark Hamilton

Compositions

  • Kanikani Kiwi 04:32
  • Kawhia Hot Water 09:48
  • Cath’s Song 05:06
  • Fantalia 04:54
  • Gdańsk 06:48
  • Pahiatua 06:04
  • Mink Hollow 06:40
  • Mr Ponsonby 05:41
  • Blindside Flank 06:05

From the funky beats of “Kanikani Kiwi,” inspired by the unique movements of the kiwi bird, to the reflective “Cath’s Song,” a love ballad to my wife, and the introspective “Mink Hollow,” capturing the mysterious allure of New Zealand’s bush – each composition tells a story. “Gdańsk” reflects on my connections to this Polish city, mixing personal memories with historical significance, while “Pahiatua” honours the NewZealand village where Polish refugees found a new home in 1944.

“AWA” is not just an album; it’s a reflection of my life’s journey through music and across continents. I hope it inspires you as much as it has inspired me.

Karakia in Kāwhia Hot Water

This karakia is used to clear the way of any ill omens attached to the person, their intentions, their path and their destination. It also encourages one to overcome any barriers or obstacles on their journey by seeking inner-power, inner-wisdom and inner-peace so the experience may be pleasant.

Maiea te putanga o tēnei tauira!
He tuku pūmotomoto
nō Rehua Ariki
ki a hine, ki a tama
te waka ka hūra!
Haurua!
Hiki tai, e! Hiki tai, e, hā!

Tēnei taku waka kurawāwawawai
nō te wai ā mai o Tahuna-ā-Tara
nō raro nei koe taku Māreikura
nō runga rā koe e taku Whatukura
He putanga ariki
Ka whakawhiti te rā
Hiki tai, e! Hiki tai, e, hā!

Behold this spirit!
Enlightenment embodied,
from Rehua the Procreator
‘tis woman, ‘tis man
Clear is my journey
‘pon the winds of Tāwhiri
Forward! Propel over the waves!

Rise my canoe
Vessel of the ages
from mother below (earth)
from father above (heavens)
A noble birth;
One to champion all else
Forward! To your destiny
!

Karanga in Kāwhia Hot Water

This karanga welcomes the visitor to Kāwhia and makes reference to a saying accustomed by the history of the area, ‘Kāwhia Tāngata, Kāwhia Kai, Kāwhia Moana’. 

Ruia Tāwhiri
Ngā tai o te uru e
Ki Kāwhia Tāngata
Ki Kāwhia Kai
Ki Kāwhia Moana e

Tāwhirimātea (god of wind) heed my words:
call on the western tides to welcome my guests
to Kāwhia the commune
to Kāwhia the provider
to Kāwhia the source of life