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Solace of the Sea

28 Sep 2015
Cellist Ruby Mae Hinepunui and The Big Idea digital artist in residence Clare O'Leary collaborate to create a meditation video for The Solace Initiative.

Cellist Ruby Mae Hinepunui and The Big Idea digital artist in residence Clare O'Leary talk about their collaboration to create a soundscape meditation video for The Solace Initiative.

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Clare: The sea has always been a great source of solace to me. I grew up near Okahu Bay in Auckland and now I live in Breaker Bay Wellington. Waking up to the sound of the sea, whatever the weather is reassuring and soothing.  I wanted to convey this feeling in a meditation video with an original soundscape and had thought the cello would be a perfect sound to match the waves rolling in and out. In the afternoons after being at the Hospice I go down to Breaker Bay regularly and sit by the sea right in the middle of the beach alone. I sing or chant to the waves and always feel alive and present.

I met Ruby Mae Hinepunui (aka Ruby Solly) on the Wellington music site on Facebook - she was looking for a cello and so we started chatting about my idea. She sent me some of her music as she had already played with meditative sounds - the finished work is a beautiful original soundscape that perfectly resonates with my original idea.  

Ruby: When Clare contacted me about the solace project and her vision, I decided that a ‘cello meditation’ would fit perfectly.

Usually, I create this style of music purely to work at discovering new sounds on my instrument, exploring its resonance and my relationship with my cello.

For me, playing these meditations was a way that I relax by playing something purely for myself, no audience; just me and my cello.

But creating a mediation for an audience created a refreshed experience, where I could share my relaxation techniques with other.

My meditation pieces often revolve around a particular theme that is then developed over the piece’s duration, in a way this symbolises someone’s thinking process towards a problem, and how they eventually come to a point where it can be resolved. Taking my problems to the cello and working through my issues with my instrument has helped to get through my problems in a calm, collected way without words racing their way around their brain.

Pieces such as this one bring me solace and help me to clear my mind and body so that my cello and I can create other, faster and more melodic works.