Artist in Residence Podcast: Bic Runga

New Zealand music icon Bic Runga has made you a personalised audio performance.

Posted on
08.06.20

Self-isolation has been hard. Art can help everyone. Artist in Residence is an immersive podcast series made in collaboration with ten New Zealand artists across theatre, music, poetry and dance. Each artist has made you a personalised performance to help with one thing you might have felt in isolation and as we transition out of it.

Today we release our final episode from New Zealand music icon Bic Runga – a celebratory disco on the day our beloved music venues can once again host full houses.

Since the release of her first single Drive in 1996 – a top ten hit when she was just twenty – Bic Runga has been awarded almost every musical honour in New Zealand, including the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award. Bic has won the most New Zealand Music Awards by any individual, ever (twenty).

She has won Best Female Vocalist four times and Best Producer three times. Bic’s debut album Drive was certified seven times platinum and featured the enormous hit Sway. The follow up in Beautiful Collision in 2002 was certified an incredible eleven times platinum and featured the hits 'Get Some Sleep', 'Something Good' and 'Listening For The Weather'.

In January 2006, Runga was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Zealand New Year's Honours List and in 2016 she was the youngest recipient to be inducted into the New Zealand Music hall of fame.

Artist in Residence: Bic Runga

Level 2

Bic Runga has created Level 2, an apprehensive disco for one, for when you want to get your groove back on.

Listen anywhere you want.

This episode is available on Apple Podcasts, SpotifySoundcloud, our RSS feed, and right here.

If you're listening from mobile, Apple, Spotify and Soundcloud are preferable to the below player (as the sound won't cut out when your phone goes to sleep!)

Each artist has provided you with sleeve notes for their episode. Bic's sleeve notes are below.

Image by Nirrimi

Sleeve notes for Level 2

Bic Runga

Level 2 is a tentative celebration of starting to come out of lockdown. The 6-minute instrumental piece was made during our switch to Alert Level Two after seven weeks inside, where my mind had the time to run the full gamut of feelings; sadness at the news, gratitude that we were safe, despair, many ominous feelings, but often hope as well that there was a huge potential to reset our world. 

I especially liked being able to write a long piece of music for the first time, and also a piece of music that had no words. I'd never had the challenge before of writing using only melody and harmony to convey the range of things I'd been feeling. I had a nostalgia for happier times, in particular, 80's school dances from primary school, innocent times when I didn't worry about anything. The bass hook was written by Cass Basil and the song was mixed by Kody Nielson. 

It's an apprehensive disco for one, as we tentatively leave our houses again; a Mumsy disco to help get your groove back on. I hope it makes the listener feel happy and relaxed anywhere they are listening from. 

Episode Credits

Level 2 was created and performed by Bic Runga 
Bass hook: Cass Basil
Mix: Kody Nielson
Published by Mushroom Publishing

Produced by Kate Prior for The Pantograph Punch
Made with the support of NZ on Air

Artist in Residence is now playing weekly on RNZ Concert. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Soundcloud.