For flute (and piccolo), clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano
Manutaki was commissioned by the Australia Ensemble with funding from the Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council, and it was first performed by them during a tour for Chamber Music New Zealand in 1986.
About the work
At that time I composed this I was using quite complicated structures to organise the music — similar to the isorhythmic structures used in the music of Machaut and Dufay. These hold the piece together, but you’re not aware of those structures when you hear the music.
Before I began writing it I spent some time at Whatipu on the west coast of Auckland and was fascinated by the swallows darting around the cliffs. Their movement certainly influenced the surface of the piece, and if I believe it was a conversation with Peter Scholes, clarinettist and conductor, that gave me the title, Manutaki, the lead bird in a flock of birds.
Score and recordings
Waiteata Music Press published Manutaki in 1993.
Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ.
Tall Poppies in Australia released a recording on CD in 1991.
Members of the Auckland Chamber Orchestra performed it in 2017 during a ‘composer portrait’ concert.