The Journey of Mataku Moana

Solo instrument

For cello

I wrote The Journey of Matuku Moana in 1992, in response to a commission from the Danish-born Australian-based cellist, Georg Pedersen, who gave its first performance in Sydney in 1993. The commission was funded by the Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council.

About the work

Matuku moana is the Māori name of the white-faced heron. This piece was mostly composed in Sydney while I was receiving treatment for breast cancer. I had a large wooden sculpture of a heron in my room, and I completed the work in New Zealand in an environment where herons fed in the mudflats outside my house.

The Journey of Matuku Moana is based on the idea of the double, where the initial ideas are recycled and condensed, and the call of the Australian currawong and the New Zealand korimako (bellbird) recur during the piece.

The music, recorded by Georg Pedersen, was used in Gaylene Preston’s film Titless wonders.

Titless wonders

Scores and recordings

Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ.

The Journey of Mataku Moana

The work has been released on 2 CDs you can buy or borrow from SOUNZ.

Australian Cello — CD

Under the Southern Cross — CD

Listen online to Alexander Ivashkin’s performance from Under the Southern Cross.

The Journey of Mataku Moana — video (audio only)