A juxtaposition of old and new, conjuring sounds and images of Aotearoa, the New Zealand String Quartet and Richard Nunns, the world’s leading authority on nga taonga puoro (Maori traditional instruments), present a magical and evocative programme.
Within a programme bookended by classics of the string quartet repertoire, Puhake ki te rangi (spouting to the skies) is the Australian premiere of a 21st century New Zealand work. The taonga puoro used in this piece are mostly made from whale bone or bone from the albatross, the whale’s avian counterpart.
Written in 2006 the piece reflects the extreme range and changing pattern of whale song. Composer Gillian Whitehead was inspired by the image of a whale in Campbell Island waters, allowing seal pups at play to slide down her flanks over and over again, until, tiring of the game, she flips them gently away.PROGRAMME
Beethoven String Quartet Opus 18 No 5Gillian Whitehead Puhake ki te rangi Gareth Farr He Poroporoaki Smetana String Quartet No 1 in E minor "From my life"
1st Violin: Helene Pohl
2nd Violin: Douglas Beilman
Viola: Gillian Ansell
Cello: Rolf Gjelsten
Taonga Puoro (Maori Instruments): Richard Nunns
Image: Brian Flintoff