2014 Music

Shadows cross the water

Chamber ensemble (2-7 players)

For oboe, piano and string quartet

The first performance of this work, then called Tamariki, was given by the Stamic Quartet with Vilém Veverka (oboe) and Patricia Goodson (piano) in Prague on 9 December 2014.

About the work

2014 marked the 70th anniversary of the arrival of New Zealand’s first refugees, more than 700 Polish children who were cared for at a specially prepared camp in Pahīatua north of Wellington. The anniversary led me to consider the terrible and dislocating movement of children in times of war.

As I wrote this piece, 2 significant and dear friends – Peter Maxwell Davies and Jack Body – were terminally ill, so there are many interpretations of the title — which was taken from a Greg O’Brien poem.

Score and recording

Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ.

Shadows cross the water — SOUNZ

A recording, released by Rattle CDs, can be bought from SOUNZ and all good record stores.

Shadows crossing water — CD

Song without words

Solo instrument

For solo violin, viola or cello

The first performance of Song without words was given by cellist Rolf Gjelsten in Wellington on 2 February 2014 at a private function.

About the work

Song without words was written to mark the occasion of Helen Young’s departure from Wellington to live in Auckland. Helen was always a champion of New Zealand music during her years as manager of Radio New Zealand Concert.


The piece has been written to be played by violin, viola or cello — a score exists for each of the 3 instruments.


Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ.

Song without words — SOUNZ

Venetian mornings

Chamber ensemble (2-7 players)

for flute, bassoon and piano

Venetian mornings was commissioned by University of Waikato’s School of Music, and given its first performance by the Donizetti Trio on 14 May 2014 at the Gallagher Concert Chamber at Waikato University.

About the work

Venetian mornings is dedicated to Jack Body, in celebration of his 70th year, and reflects our first encounters in Venice, where we used to meet for breakfast.

Score and recording

Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ.

Venetian mornings — SOUNZ

Hear and watch a recording of a performance by the Donizetti Trio.

Venetian mornings — video

E Haki

Solo voice

For solo voice

Text by the composer

‘Haki’ is the Maori transliteration of ‘Jack’. E Haki was written for Mere Boynton to sing at a celebratory concert for Jack Body’s 70th birthday concert in Auckland on 30 April 2014. It was again sung by Mere at his memorial 13 months later.

About the work

A traditional Maori form uses the movement of the poi, telling of a journey around Aotearoa, linking places of significance to the singer, in terms of whakapapa, or ancestry. In terms of performance, E Haki will usually be preceded by a karanga — a call summoning the people, and explaining the purpose of the gathering.

About the text

My poi tells of Jack’s journey over plains and rivers from Te Aroha to Auckland then swings over the great waves to the places of learning in Europe. My poi shimmers in the warm air of Indonesia, home of Yono, Jack’s dearest friend, then skims like a flying fish home to Wellington.

A rangatira, kind and generous, strong-hearted, of peaceful spirit.
A branch of the titoki will not break.
Is there a river so wide it cannot be crossed?
His music is that of the tui, his voice that of the bellbird.
This is the composer, this is the man we celebrate.
Dance, Jack, today.

Score and recordings

The score is reproduced in Jack! celebrating Jack Body, composer published by Steele Roberts.

Jack! — publication

See performances of E Haki online

E Haki at 2014 Jack Body 70th year tribute concert — video

E Haki at 2015 Jack Body memorial — video

E Haki at 2015 book launch of Jack! — video