WARWICK STANLEY BROADHEAD
CHOOSING ONE VOICE
I used to be the musical director of ONE VOICE, a community choir based in Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.
ONE VOICE were a “feral” choir – run collaboratively by the members and with a wildly diverse repertoire – everything from contemporary songs, gospel arrangements and material from all over the world. We sang together one a week because we loved to resonate together in music.
One splendid night Warwick decided to join us and he stayed for many years – he sometimes ran playful warmups that people still recall with delight.
Warwick was inspirational. He offered quiet support to me in a gentle way that always allowed me to feel focussed and strong as the musical leader. He picked me up after small tumbles on the path and helped me see the unlit path ahead.
He helped me celebrate my 40th birthday where beautiful moments happened throughout the evening. It was like he had choreographed certain magical moments, but I think it was just the ripples of his aura curling around all of those present.
A poem I wrote for Warwick on the occasion of ONE VOICE performing at the Rose Gardens 12-11-06 where he surprised me with a beautiful posy of flowers he had picked – a most thoughtful soul.
Treasure – for Warwick Broadhead
You are an utter treasure.
A giver of all,
A taker of none.
A shower of sparks,
A stream of colour.
A man of pleasure, desire and fruition,
With a rich stream of silk which you have woven through me.
You give ME flowers and I splutter with delight!
Sublime, sublime, delight.
THE LEAVING CEREMONY
Warwick was a great believer in ritual. On the occasion of my final night leading ONE VOICE, Warwick conjured up a leaving ceremony to lead me to the wide open door, he stepped me over the threshold under a full moon and sent me on my way along a new path. I have never forgotten how valued he made me feel through this small but powerful ceremony.
THE LIVE MAN
“Rubbings from Live Man” – the intensely personal and beautiful film by Florian Habicht told the story of Warwick’s life. A beautiful study of a unique being, a bottomless creative soul, a man with a desire to be loved as strongly as HE loved, and an amazing man of family. His nephew called him Uncle Wow…
I made W a hand embroidered brooch to commemorate the premiere in the Auckland Film Festival – Warwick was a “CERTIFIED LIVE MAN! I never took a picture of this brooch – but Florian did and it is the only image of brooch.
This poem slipped out the same day…
There were so many wonderful times, and some terrible ones.
Yet you endured.
On the day of your funeral, I was greeted at the door by two women drop spindling. I was compelled to talk with them as spinning is my new thing. From the augury of artisans I learned so much more about you.
Your funeral was an emotional party. We stood and applauded. We heard stories from your closest friend. We heard from your beautiful when whose deepest love was evident.
You stole embroidery thread and were arrested and deported – you are my hero!
You staged spectacles that were only taken home in the minds the those present – no ephemera remains. Live in the moment.
in the last years of you life – you learned to spin. Such resonance with my own recent epiphany in spinning. Oh how much more we had to talk about dear Warwick!
Dear Warwick – I thank the universe for all of our interactions, all of our crossings and connections. You lived a glorious life and you have been allowed a noble and peaceful death.
RIP taku ihoa – much love – Jeni