Updated: Jan 27
For my second assignment as a third year student, we were tasked to write a work for full orchestra. I decided to write a piece based on the ten heavens in Māori traditional mythology. These ten heavens are named:
Kiko-rangi, where Toimau governs;
Waka-maru, the heaven of rain and sunshine;
Ngā-roto, the heaven of lakes. The spray splashing over is the rain and hail in the world. Maru is god in this heaven;
Hau-ora, or Te Wai-ora-a-Tāne, the Water of Life of Tāne: from hence comes the spirit to the child about to be born;
Ngā-tauira, the abode of beings who attend on the inferior gods who officiate in Naherangi;
Ngā-atua, the home of the inferior gods: Tāwhaki rules in this heaven;
Autōia: here the soul is created;
Aukumea: time allowed here for spirits to live;
Wairua: spirit-gods live in this place, to attend on the gods in Naherangi;
Naherangi, or Tuwharea, the Supreme Temple and highest heaven inhabited by the great gods. Rehua is the ruling power.
Of these heavens, Maru is god of the lower three, Tāwhaki of the next higher three, and Rehua of the upper four. In other Māori accounts, there are twelve heavens, but I have decided to focus on the ten heavens version.
As writing for all off these heavens is too huge a task to write for an assignment, I decided to only focus on the first three and turn them into short movements. I named the piece 'Ngā Rangi Tūhaha' meaning 'The Bespaced Heavens' and it was selected to be workshopped for the APO 'Our Voice' Orchestral Workshop at the Auckland Philharmonia Hall, 1 St Albans Ave, Mt Eden 10/08/2018. I was also fortunate enough to work with APO Communities Composer Ryan Youens, and have kept a great relationship with him since. You can hear the recording of this piece here, or read about the event here or here.