Film and theatre
A cross-disciplinary collaboration using dance and film, with music for string quartet and taonga pūoro
Ad Parnassum – Purapurawhetū was first presented during Matariki on 21 June 2022 in the North Quad of the Christchurch Arts Centre. The pre-recorded music is performed by the New Zealand String Quartet with Alistair Fraser (taonga pūoro).
About the work
Designed and directed by Daniel Belton of Good Company Arts, Ad Parnassum – Purapurawhetū is a 30-minute film combining digitally re-choreographed dance and music. It is based on Paul Klee’s painting, Ad Parnassum.
My music accompanies the film where the dancers become part of a shared visual and sculptural language bringing together Pacific and Mediterranean influences. Music drives the work which carries 9 women in an elongated vista — a singing bowl brimming with movement and colour codes.
Other members of the creative team were creative producer and designer, Donnine Harrison and fashion designer, Kate Sylvester.
The Good Company Arts digital film team were Daniel Belton (cameras, film designer, film editor, post production choreography, motion graphics, audio mastering), Jac Grenfell (motion graphics, Cinema 4D, 2D animation, audio design), Nigel Jenkins, Josef Belton (kinetic props), Bradon McCaughey (cameras) and Stuart Foster (spatial lighting, props, cameras).
The choreographers and dance performers were Nancy Wijohn, Kelly Nash, Jahra Wasasala, Christina Guieb, Laura Saxon-Jones, Lucy-Margaux Marinkovich, Neve Pierce, Kiki Miwa and Stephanie Halyburton.
Score and recording
The score for this work is not available.
Watch the film on the Good Company Arts website, where there is also more information about the work.
A promotional video created for the premiere gives a taster of the work.
Daniel Belton was interviewed on RNZ’s arts programme, Standing Room Only ahead of the premiere.
The Otago Daily Times interviewed Daniel and me about our collaboration.
The premiere was reviewed by Dr Ian Lochhead for Theatre Review.
There was also a review by Erin Harrington.
In March 2023, Ad Parnassum – Purapurawhetū was presented at the Paris Women Festival based in Ontario, Canada. I was awarded Best Woman Composer for my score.
Incidental music for taonga pūoro
Play by Briar Grace-Smith
The first performance of Potiki’s memory of stone was given at the Court Theatre in Christchurch in July 2003. The incidental music uses taonga pūoro played by Richard Nunns and realised by Steve Garden.
About the work
Briar Grace’s play is about a young greenstone carver, Potiki who knows there is a dark secret surrounding his childhood. On the South Island’s west coast, 2 Māori carvers, Tam and Manaaki, went searching for a sacred greenstone boulder 20 years previously. They took Potiki, Manaaki’s little son with them. Something terrible happened that day to wreak havoc on all involved. To uncover the truth behind this greenstone trail Potiki must piece together a series of memories.
Get the manuscript
Playmarket provides information about the play and performance rights.
For flute, violin and gongs
Three bridges to cross was composed during my time as a student in Sydney.
About the work
Three bridges to cross is music for a film about about Cambodia published by Australian Broadcasting Corporation and NHK (Japan) in 1966.
The score is in the National Library of New Zealand and can be viewed with my permission.
Incidental music for a documentary
Directed by Gaylene Preston
About the documentary
Gaylene Preston calls this documentary ‘an upfront exploration of the emotional discoveries of women with breast cancer’. Jan Bolwell’s dance piece, which is at the centre of the documentary was choreographed to Georg Pedersen’s recording of my work, The Journey of Matuku Moana.
Watch excerpts from the documentary.