Chamber Music with Voice

Three Songs of Janet Frame (1972) - 20 minutes (SOUNZ)

fl/a fl ob, cl/b cl, hn, tpt, gui, db, sop

First performance: SPNM Ensemble w. Jane Manning, cond. Henry Ward, Purcell Room, 1974

(Note to Come)

Wulf (1976)

Fl, cl, vln, vc, pf, perc, reciter (f)

Text: poem in old English and translation by Bill Manhire

Commissioned by Themus.

First performed by Auckland Contemporary Music Rostrum cond. William Southgate with Ros Clark (1977).

Hotspur (1980), - 35 mins

Soprano, 2 clarinets, violin/vla, cello, perc

Text: Fleur Adcock

Written while composer-in-residence for Northern Arts (U.K.)

Commissioned by Gemini with funding from British Council

First perf. Gemini, cond. Peter Wiegold, with Margaret Field (sop.) Darlington, UK

Recorded Anthea Moller, with ensemble cond. Graham Hair, Anthology of Australian Music on Disc, CSM 32, 1999

Eleanor of Aquitaine (1982), - 35 mins

Monodrama for Mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra

Text: Fleur Adcock

First Perf. New Directions Festival, Seymour Group with Jeannie Marsh, cond. Paul Stanhope, Sydney, 1988.

Out of this Nettle, Danger (1983), - 35 mins

Mezzo-soprano, flute, clar.,tpt, cello, keyboard, perc

Text: Fleur Adcock

Received First Use fee from Australia Council.

First perf. By Anthea Moller with Australian Chamber Players, cond. Graham Hair.

Hine te Kakara

(2004) - 16 minutes

  1. 1. Kaikaranga, taonga pūoro, bassoon, or
  2. Kaikaranga, taonga pūoro, flutes (picc/concert/alto) or
  3. Kaikaranga, taonga pūoro, ensemble (flute, cello, bassoon, or 2 flutes and bassoon)

Many years ago, Hine te Kakara lived with her husband (or father, according to some traditions) Ihenga on the edge of Lake Rotorua. Returning from a hunting trip, Ihenga discovered the body of his beloved Hine te Kakara by the lake, murdered, and sang his mournful lament. The settlement at Ohinemutu is named for her (meaning 'the end of the woman').

Hine te Kakara is an ancestress of Aroha Yates-Smith, whose own composition is embedded in mine. The interpretation of her chants is as follows:

  1. The singer invokes the spirit of her ancestress beside the rippling waters of Lake Rotorua.
  2. Tuhohomatakaka conducts the tapu-raising ceremony over Ihenga.
  3. Hine te Kakara, participating in the ceremony, meets Ihenga and they fall in love.
  4. Hine te Kakara's lullaby welcoming her new-born son, Tuariki.
  5. Ihenga discovers the murdered body of Hine te Kakara at the lake.
  6. The singer farewells her ancestress.

The taonga pūoro played in this piece are, in order, pūtatara - conch shell trumpet, pūtōrino matai - wooden pūtorino, pūmotomoto - shakuhachi-like wooden flute, pūpūharakeke - flax snail, pūkaea - war trumpet, nguru rākau maire - wooden nose flute.

First performance was given by Aroha Yates-Smith, Richard Nunns, George Zukerman in Tamatekapua at Ohinemutu, March 2004

Hineteiwaiwa (2006) - 20 mins (SOUNZ)

Text: Aroha Yates-Smith

Kaikaranga, taonga pūoro, and ensemble (fl/picc, fl/afl, bsn, harp, string quartet, percussion) First performance: ERGO Ensemble, cond. Alex Pauk, with Aroha Yates-Smith and Richard Nunns, Glenn Gould Auditorium, Toronto, 10th Nov., 2006

(N.B. Hineteiwaiwa can be performed without voice, but must involve taonga pūoro)

Kaba Nan Baru (2015) - 15 minutes

String quartet
(Co-written with Megan Collins)
Rabab pasisia and piano trio
Text: Rafilosa bin Rafii and Yono Soekarno

Kaba Nan Baru, which means 'a new story' was co-written with Megan Collins, who carries the tradition of the West Sumatran rabab pasisia, for performance by her with NZTrio during a festival celebrating Jack Body at the Zhejiang Conservatory in Hangzhou.

The text of Rafilosa bin Rafii praises the attributes of Jack Body as a teacher and musician, while the text of Yono Soekano translates part of Kekawin Sutasoma, written in the thirteenth century, from Kawi into contemporary Javanese. Sections of traditional playing and singing initially alternate with the music of the trio; as the work progresses the streams combine.

Iris Dreaming (2016) - c 40 minutes

Lyric coloratura, fl/picc, ob, clars (Bb/Eb/bass), bsn, harp, 2 vln, vla, vlc, cb

Text: Fleur Adcock.

A chamber opera based on the life of Iris Wilkinson, better known as Robin Hyde, the New Zealand journalist, poet and novelist. Set in London in 1939, the opera traces her dramatic and turbulent life in New Zealand and her subsequent travels as a war correspondent in China during the Sino-Japanese war.