taonga puoro (2 players), flute, harp, piano, violin, viola, cello
Composed 2017, duration 15’30”
Ariana Tikao, Alistair Fraser, Stroma dir. Hamich McKeich, Hannah Playhouse, Wellington, 28 June 2017
Ko te tātai whetū was originally commissioned by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, as a concerto for taonga puoro and orchestra. The first performance was given by Ariana Tikao in Christchurch, in June 2015. This version is an adaptation of that piece for taonga puoro and chamber ensemble. The thread of the taonga puoro part is carried over from the orchestral version, and the central waiata remains at the heart of the piece.
The waiata recounts our story of Tāne, who went to the underworld in search of his wife, Hine‑tītama, who became Hine-nui-te-pō. Hine-tītama fled in shame when she discovered that Tāne was in fact also her father. She goes to the underworld and resides in a house called Poutereraki (Poutū-te-raki in the waiata). She tells Tāne to go back to the world of the living to raise their children, and take with him the stars as a cloak to clothe Raki (the father). The stars are then listed in the waiata.