For violin, cello, piano and kōauau
Te waka o te rangi was commissioned by NZTrio and premiered by them with Horomona Horo (kōauau) at the Loft at Q Theatre, Auckland on 14 July 2019.
About the work
Te waka ō te rangi is a waka in the sky, whose prow is the constellation Matariki, and whose stern is Tautoru, the belt of Orion.
Every night the captain, the star Taramainuku, trawls with his net to collect the souls of the people who had died that day, and when Matariki sets in May, takes them to the underworld. When Matariki rises again, the souls are released to the heavens as stars.
My piece responds to Horomona Horo’s waiata for kōauau ponga iho (gourd nose-flute) which precedes it, and I have also quoted the refrain of a piece for solo voice which I wrote some time ago. The text of the waiata roughly translates as: ‘People gather to prepare the land, preparing mounds for kumara planting. It’s winter, the rainy season, pools lie everywhere. The small eyes of Matariki’.
Score and recording
Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ soon.
RNZ Concert recorded the premiere performance.