Films, Audio & Samples
Gareth Farr: Tahu-nui-ā-Ran...Embedded video
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'Tahu-nui-ā-Rangi' is the Māori word for the Aurora Australis, visible from the southernmost parts of New Zealand. The work is based on a Māori belief that the aurorae are ancestors’ campfires reflected in the sky, emphasising universal belonging and spiritual connection.
The idea for the commission stemmed from cellist Heleen du Plessis’s concert and CD projects Cello for Africa and Cellists Aotearoa, in which the role of music in strengthening roots, connecting to place, and finding a ‘sense of place’ was investigated through the commissioning, performing and recording of new music. Tahu-nui-ā-Rangi builds upon the idea of belonging to a single nation and multiple belonging, to ultimately being part of an infinite connection to the universe and a member of one human family.
The work makes use of extended techniques in both instruments, creating cello-marimba sound blends that range from ethereal to pounding and percussive, and capturing the mystical and ethereal atmosphere of the natural light, its colourful dancing veils, and the electrically charged energy caused when particles from the sun collide with particles from gases in the Earth's atmosphere.
Funded by a Creative New Zealand Arts grant and publicly through Boosted, Tahu-nui-ā-Rangi formed part of Duo Col Legno’s Chamber Music New Zealand regional tour in May 2019. In collaboration with Dr. Ian Griffen, the world premiere took place in Dunedin’s Planetarium of the Otago Museum in a multi-sensory concert production that drew together music, philosophy, culture, art and science. The performance was combined with visual images and videos of the magical phenomenon by Griffen and Pieter du Plessis.
Commissioned by cellist Dr. Heleen du Plessis for Duo Col Legno, with marimba virtuoso, Yoshiko Tsuruta. Funded by Creative New Zealand and Boosted.