Chamber ensemble (2-7 players)

For flute and piano

Taurangi was commissioned by the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts in 2000, during which it received its first performance by Bridget Douglas and Rachel Thompson. It’s dedicated to the memory of John Mansfield Thomson.

About the work

I began writing Taurangi in the shadow of both the East Timor crisis and the death of my good friend and sometime mentor of many years, the musicologist and historian John Mansfield Thomson. These events modified both the original formal ideas and the detail of the piece.

Williams’ A Dictionary of the Māori Language gives 4 meanings for the word ‘taurangi’ — ‘unsettled’, ‘changing or changeable’, ‘incomplete, unsatisfied, unfulfilled’, ‘to grieve for’ and ‘wanderer’.

Scores and recordings

Taurangi was published by Waiteata Music Press in 2001. It is also available in a digital format.

Taurangi — publication

There are 2 recordings of Taurangi on CD

Taurangi — CD

Composer portrait: Gillian Whitehead — CD

You can also hear a recording online.

Taurangi — video (audio only)


Kirsten Eade focused on this work in her dissertation.

The influence of Māori music traditions in the flute compositions of Gillian Whitehead — publication