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Terra Firma

for flute and taonga puoro

  ·  Duration:  12m

Duration:  12m

Composer:   Briar Prastiti

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Audio

Sample: 0’00” – 1’00”
from Bridget Douglas & Al Fraser | Silver Stone Wood Bone

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Terra firma means ‘firm land’ in Latin, but it can also mean "the land one gratefully returns to". In a poetic sense, it also refers to homecoming, landing, or any form of trusted support.

This piece reflects the experience of moving to Greece on my own, and sensing the loss of support I had known, both within and outside of myself. I was away from my homeland, from familiar territory, but also from the relationships that grounded me. It made me realise the importance of friendships, community and belonging, and the stability that keeps you upright through the challenges of life. Regardless of where one is in the world, ‘terra firma’ means friendship and support - finding a place to stand and trusted people to stand with.

The many sounds of the taonga pūoro are significant for me as evocative representations of my homeland. They have the power to ground me, especially when I’m running a bit too fast, like a flute!

The bass flute and taonga pūoro have different roles in my piece, but they share a meaningful relationship conveyed through harmony and the contrast of movement between them.

Throughout the piece, there is a constant pitch underneath a kinetic and lively counterpart. The taonga pūoro represents stability, the land, grounded support. In contrast, the flute explores harmonic, rhythmic, and textural variations. Although there is a contrast, the two are linked and share common ground. The kinetic flute suggests repeated departures and landings but always relying on the stability of the taonga püoro. There are moments when the taonga püoro also explores variations of texture and rhythm, but it mainly provides a solid ‘home’ for the flute.

— Briar Prastiti —