The spine-tingling call of a pukaea, or Māori trumpet, announces the opening section, "Voices of Saints and Angels" and the strains of Hildegard von Bingen's 12th-century work O Viridissimi Virga intertwine with traditional Māori, Samoan, and Taiwanese chant.
In this unique concert the sound worlds are contemporaneous, albeit emanating from opposite sides of the globe. This parallel and apparent disparity is the central theme. VOICES OF AOTEAROA is a hallmark programme by the award-winning ensemble VOICES New Zealand as it infuses the qualities of the ensemble’s pacific origins with classic and ‘western’ choral repertoire – the result is an intoxicating, exotic and utterly beautiful concert experience.
Music inspired by New Zealand's geographical landscape includes Helen Fisher's Pounamu with its haunting Māori flute accompaniment taking audiences on a musical journey. Traversing from Venezuela to Finland, North America to Belgium VOICES OF AOTEAROA closes with the rousing Karakia of the Stars by New Zealand composer David Hamilton and a musical reference to a Maori haka (war dance).
The concert also features Māori musician and composer Horomona Horo performing on a range of Taonga Puoro, traditional Māori instruments, weaving the ancient music and sounds of the Māori people through these ‘western’ songs.