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About the work:
The composer writes: ‘Aoraki was originally written for soprano, kaikaranga(Maori chanter), percussion, puoro Maori (Maori wind instruments) and electronic keyboard for the pre-game entertainment at the 2002 Bledisloe Cup rugby test at Jade Stadium in Christchurch. The performers were Deborah Wai Kapohe, Aroha Priest, the Strike Percussion Ensemble, Richard Nunns, and myself. The piece was a setting of a specially commissioned poem, by Wellington poet Te Taite Cooper, and was deliberately written in an accessible and somewhat ‘popular’ style due to the consideration that the piece needed to have as broad an appeal as possible as presumably many audience members would not neccessarily be classical music enthusiasts!'
‘The orchestral version of the piece was written at the suggestion of Marc Taddei, and is more than a simple reorchestration – it is a complete reworking of the material into a more substantial concert piece (although many of the pop influences remain). The piece is also an integration of Maori, Pakeha and Pacific music styles, something of an analogy to how I see our society, or at least how it could be – many cultures side by side, all independent, none compromising their integrity, but working together harmoniously.’