APO 'Our Voice' Ensemble Workshop

Updated: Jan 27

Along with the Orchestral Workshop, the APO also ran an Ensemble Workshop that took place at the Music Theatre, School of Music, 7 Symonds Street, Auckland CBD, New Zealand instead of the Philharmonia Hall. Here, students were encouraged to write for either a brass trio or percussion trio, and the groups who would workshop the works were the ACE Brass Trio and the Anitpodes Percussion Project. I had never written for brass before, so I had thought it would be a good challenge for me as a composer.

I wrote 'Haeretanga O Mataatua' for brass trio, and it was selected to be workshopped. Haeretanga o Maatatua (meaning The Resting Place of Maatatua) refers to Takou Bay, my papakainga and a settlement situated a bit further north of Waipapa. The story goes that Puhi-moana-ariki (an ancestor of the Ngāpuhi tribe) arrived at Takou with a husband, Kohakoha, wife, Tawhiura, and their children on board. The couple were quarrelling for some reason and in the heat of their argument, the sea whipped up and they were unable to enter the Takou river. Puhi commanded everyone to be tossed overboard and suddenly the storm abated. Puhi chanted and turned everyone to stone. At the entrance of the river lies the boulders Kohakoha, Tawhiurau and their children and they became the guardians of the entrance. Puhi feared the waka would be stolen so he took it further up the Takou awa and turned it into stone also. Pictured below are some of the other composers whose works were also workshopped, as well as the ACE Brass Trio (from L-R, Back: Richard Paull, John Gluyas, Huw Dann, Emma Eden, Oliver Bramah. Front: Peter Willis, Reuben Rameka, Linda Dallimore, John Donaldson). You can listen to the work here, or read about the event here.

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