Songs From The Inside is easily the most compelling thing on our tv screens right now. The documentary series is a brilliant idea - take four musicians (Anika Moa, Warren Maxwell, Maisey Rika and Ruia Aperahama) and send them into prison to teach songwriting workshops.
It's three episodes in so far - you can catch up on demand on Maori TV's website. The first episode, where the musicians visit the prisons they will be working in for the first time, is very moving. The show screens Sundays 8:00pm on Maori TV, and repeats Fridays at 10.30pm from 20 April.
"I'm more nervous about doing this than doing a gig"- Anika Moa.
From Maori TV: "SONGS FROM THE INSIDE follows New Zealand musicians Anika Moa, Warren Maxwell, Maisey Rika and Ruia Aperahama, who went into Rimutaka and Arohata correction facilities to teach songwriting to prisoners.
Directed by Julian Arahanga (Once Were Warriors’ Nig Heke) the musicians taught 10 prisoners the step-by-step music programme developed by Evan Rhys Davies – a pilot programme he had tutored at Spring Hill Corrections Facility in the Waikato.
There will be a thirteenth, hour-long special in which the songs the prisoners wrote, sang and recorded will be revealed.
Music therapy is used in prisons throughout the world, but SONGS FROM THE INSIDE is the first production to bring in established musicians and record the workshops, challenges and outcomes on film."