December 04, 2012
Taonga puoro revive classical sounds
A leading classical composer says the revival of taonga puoro is one of the most exciting developments in New Zealand music over the past 20 years.
Martin Lodge, who teaches at Waikato University, has been awarded the artist's residency at the Pah Homestead in Auckland, where he intends to compose a major new work.
Professor Lodge became fascinated with the sound of traditional instruments through his friendship with the late Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns.
He says there are challenges incorporating them into the western orchestral tradition.
"You do just have to leave a gap in the texture and tell the performer the kind of music you want and the instrument you want them to play with either a koauau or pūtorino, trust that they will feel the groove and feel the spirit of the piece to do a good job. For a composer, that’s a really hard call to let control go. I’ve done it on some occasions and its works and its change the way I think about music a bit”.
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