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Mātauranga (Rerenga)

for orchestra, taonga puoro and live electronics

Year:  2019   ·  Duration:  12m

Year:  2019
Duration:  12m

Composer:   Michael Norris

Films, Audio & Samples

Michael Norris: Mātauranga ...

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Mātauranga (Rerenga) was Michael Norris’s response to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s invitation to contribute to its series of commissions marking the 250th anniversary of the arrival of Captain Cook. Central to the work is the taonga puoro of Alistair Fraser, the sounds of which Michael sends swirling through the concert space by means of live electronic manipulation. Of the work, and the difficulties of the subject matter Michael wrote,

“There are a number of problems with the whole idea of celebrating Cook's arrival in New Zealand, and my piece is not so much a celebration as an evocation. In particular, there are a number of references in Cook's journals to the sounds of taonga pūoro being heard. I'm using those resources to evoke a particular moment in time. So I'm not just thinking of the cultural collision between Cook and the local iwi and tangata whenua, but I'm also thinking of a kind of sonic world. What were the seascapes that Cook was experiencing during those long days of endless voyaging around the South Pacific? What were the birdscapes or the gentle lapping of the waves on the shoreline of these places where Cook put down his anchors?”

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra to mark the 250th anniversary of the arrival of Captain Cook