Hine-pū-te-hue chamber music concert

The Aotearoa NZ Festival of the Arts have their chamber music series available for online viewing until 3 April. The Hine-pū-te-hue programme includes the premiere recording of Manaaki, by Philip Brownlee and Ariana Tikao, along with music by Gillian Whitehead and Amy Beach.

Many thanks to the New Zealand String Quartet for the collaboration and performance, and to the festival for the commmission.

Manaaki premiere now online

Following the cancellation of the festivals in Nelson and Wellington, the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts has announced that the chamber music programme will be presented online.

Manaaki, composed with Ariana Tikao, for Horomona Horo and the New Zealand String Quartet, will be available from 18 March – see the Festival’s website for details. The concert also features music by Gillian Whitehead and Amy Beach.

Manaaki – Festival performances

I’m very happy to announce performances of a new work, Manaaki, for taonga puoro and string quartet. The piece is a collaborative composition with Ariana Tikao, and it’s great to be working together with Ariana again. Thanks also to the NZ String Quartet for commissioning us, and for their assistance with the compositional process.

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.

The premiere (Covid willing) is part of the Adam Summer Celebration, in Nelson, with Bob Bickerton playing taonga puoro.

Sunday 6 February 7.30 pm, Nelson Centre of Musical Arts

There is a second performance in the Aotearoa NZ Festival of the Arts, in Wellington, with Horomona Horo.

Thursday 10 March, 7:30 pm, St Mary of the Angels, Wellington

Manaaki was commissioned by Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts

11 Frames from Rattle Records

Rattle Records have just released 11 Frames, a collection of music for violin and piano by New Zealand composers, performed by Andrew Beer and Sarah Watkins. One of the tracks is Water Sketch with Tui. Many thanks to both of them for a beautiful performance, and to the production team of Kenneth Young, Steve Garden, and John Kim for the great-sounding recording.

The album is available via Bandcamp:

Ko te tātai whetū in Nelson

Nelson Symphony Orchestra’s next concert, on 27 July, includes a performance of Ko te tātai whetū, featuring Ariana Tikao and Bob Bickerton as soloists. I’m really looking forward to another performance of this piece, and to working with Ariana and Bob to put the performance together.

The programme also includes music by Chris Adams and Douglas Lilburn.

27 July 2019, 7:30 pm
Nelson Centre of Musical Arts

Details and bookings here


Lutalica, by Mark McGregor

I’m very happy to share the release of Lutalica, by Vancouver-based flautist Mark McGregor. This recording is part of a project featuring a series of concerts of music from around the Pacific Rim, followed by studio recordings.

It includes a spectacular performance of Harakeke, and I recommend the whole album. Mark’s put together a great programme; each piece has its own strong identity, and there’s also a really interesting network of points of contact between them. There’s a second set of recordings on the way – look out for it.

Stroma, Tātai Whetū

Stroma’s next concert, Tātai Whetū, is a programme of works for taonga puoro and ensemble. Featuring Ariana Tikao and Alistair Fraser, performing music by Ariana Tikao, Philip Brownlee, Dylan Lardelli, Tristan Carter, Gillian Whitehead, and Hirini Melbourne.

The programme includes a new version for chamber ensemble of Ko te tātai whetū. The smaller forces have allowed us to free it up a lot, so that the ensemble players can follow the taonga puoro in improvisation. It’s striking how a second strand of taonga puoro multiplies the richness of the palette. Rehearsals are underway, and it’s sounding great.

The concert is at the Hannah Playhouse (Wellington), Wednesday 28 June, 7:30 pm.

Further details:
Stroma’s website

Ko te tātai whetū broadcast

This Friday, 22 April, at 7pm NZST, Radio New Zealand Concert will broadcast the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra’s Kaleidoscope Colours concert from June last year.

This includes the premiere of Ko te tātai whetū, the piece for taonga pūoro and orchestra composed in collaboration with Ariana Tikao. The complete concert also includes music by Peter Sculthorpe, Lissa Meridan, and Béla Bartók.

Thanks to Darryl Stack, David Houston, and Andrew Collins for the beautiful recording.

I don’t think this is the first broadcast, but this time I’ve spotted it before it happens.

Ko te tātai whetū recording

A video of the premiere of Ko te tātai whetū is now online:

Performed by Ariana Tikao, with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ben Northey.

Recorded at the Airforce Museum, Wigram, Christchurch, on 13 June 2015.

Audio recorded by Radio New Zealand Concert, filmed and edited by Chris Watson for the Resound Project for SOUNZ.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in the project, and especially to Ariana for the rich collaborative relationship. I wonder what else we might make together.

Ko te tātai whetū premiere in Christchurch

I’ve been collaborating with Ariana Tikao on a concerto for taonga pūoro and orchestra. The piece was commissioned by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, and we’re very grateful for their support and commitment to the project. We’ve also been working with Dr Richard Nunns, and it’s been wonderful to work with Richard again.

Ko te tātai whetū will have its premiere on Saturday 13 June, at the Air Force Museum of NZ, in Wigram.

Details of the concert are here.