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 work is for SATB choir, for kapa haka performing karanga, waiata, poi, patere and haka, also for contemporary dance and taonga puoro. It is in three sections: Te Ahiahi(Evening), Te Po (Night), Te Atatu (Dawn), and is a parable for the bicultural journey of Aotearoa New Zealand. In 1986 I wrote the lyrics while studying te Reo Maori at the Kuratini with Teariki Mei and in 1990, I completed the music while doing Composition Honours at Victoria University. In the same year ‘Takiri Mai Te Awatea’ was workshopped at Ngake Poneke Young Maori Club, but it is yet to receive a full performance.