Bird Like Men
Chamber Music NZ
Coming to Tūranga-nui-ā-Kiwa/Gisborne for the first time, Chamber Music New Zealand Presents Tararua – Bird Like Men – a multimedia performance that brings together taonga pūoro, waiata, karakia and pūrākau (story) with a strong southern Māori influence, partnered with the western instrumental elements of the cello and double bass.
Drawing inspiration from Māori rock art depictions of bird people at the Maerewhenua site in Otago, whānau manuscripts of Tīkao and kōrero from Kāi Tahu Whānui, Bird Like Men is a contemplation on migration and travel and the deeply embedded desire that draws us to return to our spiritual homelands. This multimedia performance brings together the artistry of Ariana Tikao, Ruby Solly, Al Fraser and Phil Boniface with visual artist, Louise Pōtiki Bryant, weaving together sound worlds from both ea o Māori and ea o Pākehā. Tararua has recently been selected as a finalist for the Best Ensemble in the international Songlines Awards for world music traditions.
Lead vocalist and taongo pūoro performer Ariana Tikao describes Bird Like Men as “an exploration of whakapapa and connections through music”. Tararua draw on personal history – whanau manuscripts of Tīkao and korero from Kāi Tahu Whānui – ancient indigenous stories and knowledge, and the dark beauty of this land to weave together sound worlds from both ea o Māori and ea o Pākehā as well as echoing influences of jazz and fold. Tikao also describes Tararua’s latest journey as one of interconnectivity: “Bird like Men covers all the bases of being human, and also our connections to ‘other than human’ entities, such as the elemental atua. The visual, spoken word, and sonic elements will be woven together to create what we think will be a rich experience for our audiences throughout the motu.”
Ariana Tikao, vocals, taonga pūoro
Ruby Solly, vocals, taonga pūoro, cello
Phil Boniface, double bass
Alistair Fraser, taonga pūoro
Louise Pōtiki Bryant, digital imagery
- Acknowledgements: Ariana Tikao, vocals, taonga pūoro Ruby Solly, vocals, taonga pūoro, cello Phil Boniface, double bass Alistair Fraser, taonga pūoro Louise Pōtiki Bryant, digital imagery
- Additional Information: Chamber Music New Zealand Creative New Zealand Ngāi Tahu Funds Oro records