Composed in March 1992 and dedicated to the memory of Gavin Saunders. The first two movements comprise simple canons at the unison, with interludes, while the third is a chorale. Commissioned by Gary Bowler with funding from Creative New Zealand for the Hastings Youth Orchestra, who gave the first performance later that year.
Nga Tapuwae o Kupe is a music drama directed by Rangimoana Taylor. It is based on the story of Kupe’s journey from Hawaiki to Aotearoa and his discovery of various landmarks around Whanganui-a-Tara / the Wellington region.
While this work maintains a strong Maori theme, with karanga, haka and waiata, as well it weaves in other Pacific and European elements.
For school choir, instrumentalists, dancers and kapa haka, this work was composed with the financial assistance of a composition grant from Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, was first performed by 140 students from South Wellington Intermediate School in July 1992 for Artsplash, the Wellington Young People’s Festival.
This piece was originally dedicated to Prima Voce, the Form 4 to 7 choir of Epsom Girls’ Grammar School. It was written at the request of their conductor, David Hamilton, for performance at a competition administered by the New Zealand Choral Federation. The text is a rather free translation of Proverbs 3.5, made with the intention of speaking simply in the language of today while preserving the message of the source. The tune matches the words in its simplicity and directness. However it is presented in such a way as to incorporate a number of styles of singing – unison, solo, imitation, chordal, descant – while at the same time lying well within the reach of inexperienced singers. The piano part is perhaps a little more ambitious, and requires a pianist of some years’ experience. The text is as follows: Faith is trusting God when we can not make sense of everything. Look to him in all you do, and he will help you to find the best way. Do not be limited by what you understand right now.
At the age of 14, ignorant of the impetuosity many would perceive in the fact that a ‘nobody’ would presume to be able to set The Bard to music, especially given his complete lack of experience of the loss of “precious friends hid in death’s dateless night”, Samuel composed this piece while preparing for Shakespeare reading competitions in his native Invercargill. Upon the death of Samuel’s long-time musical mentor and friend Russell Cowley in late 2009, Samuel excavated the hand-written score and revised it in honour of his dear friend.