Te Arawa musician hits world stage

By Heeni Brown
  • Auckland

No Man's Land is a global mega-symphony made to commemorate WWI. One of its musicians, Caleb Robinson, says playing in the showcase generated a mixture of emotions.

This is No Man's Land, a collaboration of more than 150 musicians. It is a musical celebration of peace.

"You feel their emotion as they play and I guess that's one of the powerful parts of it," says base player Caleb Robinson of Te Arawa descent

It was filmed and was based on the battlefields of WWI.

Robinson says he’s received good feedback, "The message I've been getting from the musicians from Greece and Poland is that when they come here, we're so fortunate in Aotearoa of what we have cause of the freedom we have here."

No Man's Land is a progression of his childhood dream to become a leading musician.

"My parents all played instruments and my dad was a base player, there was music always around us and through school went to Rotorua Boys High, had a really good music department there and went on from there to study in Auckland here for a bit and then I went to the Conservatorium of Music in Wellington, now known as NZSM or New Zealand School of Music and did an honours degree in Jazz Performance,” says Robinson

He says building strong networks with other musicians has provided many opportunities in his music career.

For Robinson the importance of a base player depends on the setting, “Often some people might not know what the base players doing, but if the base player stops it's like what's gone wrong, so often in some settings the drummer and the base player are the anchor and the foundation of the group."

No Man's Land's next show is this Thursday in Napier.