KA PŌ, KA WAIATA Songs in Darkness

Te Poho o Whirikoka, Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Gisborne

11/10/2020 - 11/10/2020

Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival 2020

Production Details

To the glimmer of dawn, to the bright light of day where there is life.

Te Tairāwhiti. Te Ūranga mai o te Rā. We are of the light, heralding the east, and singing forth the sun. Yet, it was in Te Pō where the universe was sung into existence.

In the dark fertile belly, a place of richness and layered depth, a creatively charged space, the atua gather to conspire into being the essential spark of life.

Artistry, like life, is continually forming. It needs the inner-sanctum of potential to incubate before taking form. And so, Te Tairāwhiti – as artists – we are also of the dark.

Ka Pō, Ka Waiata imagines a world in which darkness is the everyday and true sight relies on sensation, sound and feeling.

Renowned Māori musicians work collaboratively to bring together the woven layers of sound and cosmology to shape and honour the darkness, and te hunga kāpō.

Ka Pō, Ka Waiata combines live performance and soundscapes.

Te Poho o Whirikoka, Te Wananga o Aotearoa
Sunday 11th Oct 2020
A Reserve $25 + fees
A Reserve (Friend) $22.50 + fees
Concession $22.50 + fees
Children $15 + fees

Want to purchase in person? Drop in and see the team at the Gisborne iSite (Grey St, Gisborne).

Theatre , Musical , Music ,

1 hr

This journey and Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival brought to a holistic conclusion

Review by Beatrice Papazoglou 13th Oct 2020

Twenty four hours ago, this performance space was bare. Tonight, as the audience walks in, we are greeted with the sight of a magnificent piece of wood centre-stage. Surrounded by taonga puoro, ferns and other mysterious natural objects, and bathed in warm light, the wood focusses us – almost beckons to us. The air is resonant with bird calls and Waimihi Hotere, in a simple black dress, complements the soundscape using unarticulated, universal sounds of joy as beautiful as she is.

As the main lights go down, a tall man also in black begins to play a taonga puoro. This is Horomona Horo, and over the next hour he will expertly play a wide range of them. A kuia in a korowai and sparkling black hat rises from her seat on the stage and begins to vocalise. The powerful and flexible voice that Whirimako Black wields draws us in, and we yield to it willingly. Now Warren Maxwell comes from the shadows and begins to use the wood as an instrument – a drum, a bird’s wings, a kiwi’s footsteps, a cello emerge under his virtuoso hands.

Ka Po, Ka Waiata is an hour long, but it doesn’t feel it. Immersed in a world of the senses, the audience follows the artists through a journey of a universe of truth and emotions, where atua move amongst us once more. The soundscapes move like a whale in the deep, ask questions and answer them, flirt with and challenge us and involve everyone in creating and sustaining a rhythm, even to the point of some people being invited to step into the light and drum upon the wood as they will. Finally, kupu emerge from the vocalists, and bring the journey to a holistic conclusion.

Ka Po, Ka Waiata was created by the cast as well the renowned creative practitioners Teina Moetara and Tama Waipara, and it was an honour for the audience to attend this the final performance of the 2020 Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival. We stand and applaud both the performance and its creators, as well as the Festival itself, before a brief karakia and a soaring rendition of Purea Nei by the late, wonderful Hirini Melbourne sung by all present.

As I walk home under the stars of Tairawhiti, I recall with gratitude the hour just past. I breathe the crisp air, snuggle further into my coat and sing in the darkness, giving thanks for the glimmering light of the arts.


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