Last week I had the pleasure of conducting the premiere of my new work, Rakiura, at the Auckland Town Hall and then at the Bruce Mason Centre. It was tremendously well received and I am thrilled. I initially posted about this project here, when we were asking for help via Kickstarter to bring the project to life. Well, we got there, and in early October I got to work.
With the music following a movie of images I had a task getting my head into the story, so I printed out the book and spread it out on my floor and it all started to come together.
Here's the programme note:
“Rakiura" is a story of life on Stewart Island, Rakiura, a remote island at the southern end of New Zealand. The piece was commissioned to accompany a photographic album and exhibition by Keri Moyle and follows the album’s five distinct sections. Warm strings pay tribute to the beauty of the scenery, woodwinds evoke the magnificent birdlife, foreboding brass builds apprehension as humans arrive and make their mark on the land, and then as humans withdraw the land flourishes once again with its harsh yet tranquil beauty.
The guest conductor and my good friend, David Kay, kindly gave me the opportunity to conduct the work (photo above). It was wonderful to put it together with the musicians and they really did a great job performing it.
A big thank you to everyone who supported the project and to those who came to one of the concerts and gave such a positive response.