The Audiobook

They of Star

It was music that inspired this book, it was never the other way around. There was no greater influence on the positioning of each word, feeling, thought, position, intention or affliction, than from the melody and verse of the music I hear about us everyday. From the get go, I knew that this novel’s intention was to emulate the personal voyage of the music we use to add colour and depth into our lives. Music explains us, it helps us to define ourselves, it guides us and it reasons with us. It is our sometimes friend, our lover, our conveyor of our bitterness and hatred, our romancer, our inspiration and our need. We are music in its most purest form, we are within it, as it is within us.

And this is what I was hoping to capture within my novel, ‘They of Star’.

To be able to honour its honest and true genesis, and to let it breathe in, and breathe out, in its own cadence, as its own life, in its own time, in its own way, as its own offering to this world.

In this audiobook there is sound design that never releases its hold upon the words within each moment, from its beginning to its very end and beyond, the sound design is entwined and impassioned, absolute and all encompassing. It is the product of Rodger Cunningham and I bleeding our honesty, within the studio, from sunrise to sunrise.

They of Star has an original music soundtrack that is comparable to that which would usually accompany a silver screen score and an ensemble cast of actors portraying each character in a perfectly emotive, characteristic and intimate way.

Rodger Cunningham wrote the musical pieces to this novel, to my words, that are sublime and intuitive, that are astute and articulate, emotive and brilliant. He is a master of his trade, and he is the definition of professionalism. His ways are organic, primal and correct.

We are tall trees, him and I.

The ensemble cast are some of the finest actors I have ever had the pleasure to meet, to work with, to admire and to be thankful for, thankful because they gave a life and ownership over these characters that was far greater than the mere words I wrote on the page. They are all true professionals, and I am humbled by their offering and approach to this project.

The Maestro.....

The Maestro.....

Rodger Cunningham

The Maestro of Sound...

Rodger Cunningham
Lead Musician

Meeting Rodger was brilliant. Sometimes in life you meet people and trust is already well infused within the moment, the words and the thoughts that are shared. This was us, is us, and will forever be our relationship, both personally and professionally. Rodger listened to my lofty ideas of creative chaos and flinched only slightly, but not because of the crazy that was being spoken before him, but because he knew from the get go, all fear aside, that this crazy could actually work. I journeyed far and wide, over many times, predicaments and confused landscapes until I met Rodger, but once I did, it all made sense to me. Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow.

The music Rodger wrote for this Audio Book entwines itself within my words in a symbiotic way that gives a life to the prose that I could never have imagined possible, it is magic, it is truly of the Stars. For this I feel blessed to have had Rodger in that studio with me, I shudder to think what would have happened if I hadn't met a human so vastly talented and intuitive as such. He himself is blessed as a gift.

The sound design was Rodger and I bleeding everyday, and much needed to be tolerated, and much was given, spiritually, emotionally and physically, and much has been the result for this perseverance and sheer force of will. Owing to my obsession with attaining as close to perfection as possible, regardless the time or sacrifice, one minute of sound design could sometimes take us two days of focus. After almost 6 months of this I am surprised Rodger did not pickle me, put me into a jar and sell me at the local food markets, to then spend the money on pies and a strong ale, I owe him much for this tolerance. To be honest, I wouldn't have wanted to have been in the trenches with any other.

Rodger Cunningham is of Te Arawa, Ngati Awa and Ngati Raukawa ki te tonga descent. A studio and live performer for over 20 years, Rodger is an extremely versatile musician who is in demand to play a wide range of music and he has worked with many of Australasia's top musicians. Rodger has drawn upon this rich and varied experience to create his debut album Toto on which he plays guitar(s), bass, keyboards, drums and performs most of the vocals.

Find Rodger on Facebook at: @rodger.cunningham

The Cast

Mervyn Noel Whitley Jnr Narrator, King He of Many a Face
Rodger Cunningham                                The Other
Rebecca Ward                                           Ara of the Arana

Elisha Hulton                                             Malua of the Star
Angela Frank                                              Tyra of the Star        
Steve Holmes                                             Myan of the Star
Gaelan Wheeler                                        Ariel of the Star

James Lewis                                              Joree of the Star
Connor Hignett                                         Loray of the Star
Paola Baeza                                               Jame' of the Star
Dayna Rowe                                               Biana of the Land

Riley Claxton                                             Fonta of the Land
Jessica Fenwick                                         Ela' of the Land
Stephen Fisher
Alasdair Hay                                            Hamat of the Land, The Innkeeper
Krystie Lewis                                           Ana of the Arana
James White-Hughes                             E'lon of the Land, Thahn of the Land
Kris Ganly                                                 She who speaks for Those Who Are Now Silent

Georgia Taylor                                         Vocal Talent


The room was cold, the words were warm....

The room was cold, the words were warm....