Renowned taonga pūoro composer and practitioner Horomona Horo pays tribute to the late Dr Richard Nunns.
Nunns began researching how to play taonga pūoro (ancient Māori instruments) in the late 1950s.
That journey introduced him to revered taonga pūoro artist and songwriter Hirini Melbourne and taonga pūoro carver Brian Flintoff.
All three became pioneers in reviving taonga pūoro, influencing generations of taonga pūoro artists.
Horo says, "Ko rātou aku three musketeers."
(They were my three musketeers).
Ko Richard Nunns taku pāpa i roto i te ao Pūoro, pērā anō i aku hoa te tini me te mano o ngā kai whakatangitangi pūoro, kua whai i te ara i tūwhera nei a Richard mo te katoa o te tangata e mate kai ana i te ao nei.
(Richard Nunns was my father in the music world, he was that for many of my friends who are artists and musicians. Especially those on the path which Richard had created. He supported all who wanted to learn).
In 1994, Richard Nunns and Hirini Melbourne recorded an album that marked the culmination of 30 years of travel, research, kōrero, composing and performing.
Their album Te Kū Te Whē (“The Woven Mat of Sound”) went on to become pivotal in the rediscovery of sounds and practices of the taonga pūoro (traditional Maori instruments).
Horo is now with the Nunns whānau in Whakatū (Nelson) as they prepare for the tangihanga of Dr Richard Nunns.