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This piece embodies the surrounding landscapes of Mercer and Pukekawa, near the Waikato. It was there that I spent my formative years. The ambience of the area felt bleak and foreboding to me as a child, particularly in the winter. There is a true sense for me of New Zealand history within these settlements. When you look into the river, one can almost hear the steamer boats that once made their trade there. Pukekawa, the farming community across the bridge from Mercer, means “hill of bitter memories”. It is certainly a place that has had its fair share of misfortune, and a faint stigma still remains. The land and atmosphere, accompanied by my personal response to these stimuli, are very much a part of my being. Amongst the land’s somewhat desolate nature, I have come to appreciate its underlying primal beauty.
28 Nov 2012: Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tecwyn Evans