taonga puoro and string quartet

Composed 2022, duration 10’00”
Composed in collaboration with Ariana Tikao

Comissioned by Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts.

Manaaki, page 1Manaaki, page 2

Manaaki is a key concept within te ao Māori, and means ‘to support, take care of, give hospitality to, protect, show respect, and generosity for others’. This piece takes inspiration from the pōwhiri process, the ritual of encounter that typically happens on marae, where mana whenua welcome in the manuhiri. This should uphold the mana of the home people as well as acknowledge and enhance the mana of the people entering. It starts with the shifting of energy through the use of the pūrerehua, which indicates something is about the start. Then the kaikaranga start to call and weave their voices together, with pūtōrino and strings shooting up into the heavens and then coming back down to earth. This is followed by an invocation of tangi, bringing in the voices of our ancestors. The next section represents the voices of the kaikōrero, a robust musical discussion among the male voices of the ensemble. The piece ends with hongi, sharing of our sacred breath, which symbolises peace, and a chance to reflect on the process and transition. We are reminded of how we should treat each other, in a way that enhances each other’s mana through dialogue and respect.

Manaaki was developed in collaboration with the New Zealand String Quartet, with Horomona Horo and Bob Bickerton.