Wintec staff perform with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

Horomona Horo and Jeremy Mayall join the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

Wintec colleagues, Dr. Jeremy Mayall and Horomona Horo, performing together.

Two Wintec colleagues, Dr. Jeremy Mayall and Horomona Horo recently joined the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) to perform “An Instrumental Voyage – Pae Tawhiti, Pae Tata”.

The 55-minute concerts were part of a series of educational concerts to introduce youth to the magic of the NZSO. They were composed by Mayall and featured singer Maisey Rika on vocals and Horo as narrator and taonga pūoro musician.

Each show was divided into three movements. The first shared a vision of the past, from the arrival of the Polynesians and the subsequent Europeans, with birds calls and the evocative sounds of taonga pūoro.

The second movement chronicled the conflict between the Māori and Europeans, with the final movement ending with a positive look to the future.

“This is about interweaving traditional Māori instruments and Western classical music together,” said Horo en route to Dunedin,  

“There’s a whakatauki (proverb) that says ‘Ko tāu rourou, ko tāku rourou, ka ora te iwi.’ I translate this contextually to mean ‘With your knowledge, with my knowledge, our people will learn’”

Tackling this subject through music was an easy decision.

“Everything has frequency and vibration and this connection creates musical flavour. It can evoke you to cry, make you angry, settle you down or make you contemplative,” explains Horo.

For Mayall, the shows were deeply meaningful.

“It was such a joy to be a part of this kaupapa. Working with Horomona, Maisey and the NZSO to bring this music to life for so many rangatahi was a hugely rewarding experience, and it was great to be part of telling this story.”

Children in the audience were encouraged to sing along, helped along by the inclusion of the song, ‘Nga Iwi E’. The narration was performed in English and te reo Māori.

Sam Cunnane, Head of Wintec’s School of Media Arts was happy to be able to support Mayall and Horo’s involvement in the project.

“It’s been fantastic for Jeremy and Horomona to be acknowledged through this opportunty to work with the NZSO. Not only is it an extension of the longstanding partnership they’ve had as composers and performers, but it also recognises the calibre of work they’re creating.”

The concerts were held in commemoration of Tuia 250, the anniversary of Captain James Cook’s arrival to New Zealand. They were performed in Dunedin, Christchurch, Blenheim, Lower Hutt and Porirua in September.

You can listen to Jeremy talking about composing the work in this interview with Radio New Zealand here.

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