Tim Finn Loves Writing Songs More than Ever
Forty years in the music business, one of New Zealand’s most celebrated singer-songwriters, Tim Finn, 63, recently performed his new collaboration, White Cloud at the Galway International Arts festival.
White Cloud may be derived from the Maori name Aotearoa – land of the long white cloud – but at the centre of the production is Mary, his Limerick-born mother who emigrated to New Zealand at the age of two, and who brought with her the traditions of music, song, and prose. “There is a lot of mum in there,” Finn acknowledges.
The production was crafted by Finn and fellow New Zealand playwright Ken Duncum and, with the expertise of filmmaker Sue Healy.
“It started out as a exploration of identity – Ken is a fifth/sixth generation New Zealander and my mum was born in Ireland, so were able to combine various memoirs and journals.”
Now Finn is “writing more than ever”. “For me it is something I have refined and loved even more as the years have gone by. Yes, I am more a songwriter, but my own voice probably embodies the songs better than anyone else could, although there have been some interesting covers over the years. I think the sound of my voice is the sound of my songs, but I guess the idea of being a songwriter is paramount.”
Songs by Tim and brother Neil’s bands Crowded House and Split Enz continue to hold their own – recently taking the top five spots in a poll of the best Melbourne tunes of the past 40 years – ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ and ‘Four Seasons in One Day’, and the trio of Split Enz singles, ‘I Got You’, ‘Six Months in a Leaky Boat’ and ‘I See Red’.
Original article by Linley Mackenzie, Galway Advertiser, July 9, 2015.