CMNZ Launches its 2022 Touring Concert Series with Tararua’s Bird Like Men

CMNZ Launches its 2022 Touring Concert Series with Tararua’s Bird Like Men

Chamber Music New Zealand is delighted to be opening their 2022 Season with New Zealand band Tararua’s Bird Like Men. Bringing together the artistry of Ariana Tikao, Ruby Solly, Alistair Fraser, and Phil Boniface, the Wellington-based band will bring their unique soundscape to audiences across the country. Visual artist Louise Pōtiki Bryant provides stunning digital imagery for the multimedia performance inspired by the Māori rock art depictions of bird people at the Maerewhenua historic site in Otago.

Released on Oro Records, Bird Like Men is a contemplation on migration and the deeply-embedded desire to return to our spiritual homelands. Tararua has also recently been selected as a finalist for the Best Ensemble in the prestigious international Songlines Awards for worldmusic traditions.

Lead vocalist and taongo pūoro performer Ariana Tikao describes Bird Like Men as “an exploration of whakapapa and connections through music”. Tararua draw on personal history – whānau manuscripts of Tikao and kōrero from Kāi Tahu Whānui –, ancient indigenous stories and knowledge, and the dark beauty of this land to weave together sound worlds from both te ao Māori and te ao Pākehā as well as echoing influences of jazz and folk.Tikao also describes Tararua’s latest journey as one of interconnectivity: “Bird Like Men covers all the bases of being human, and also our connections to ‘other than human’ entities, such as
the elemental atua. The visual, spoken word, and sonic elements will be woven together to create what we think will be a rich experience for our audiences throughout the motu.”

Tararua’s evocative music combines taonga pūoro, waiata, karakia and pūrākau (storytelling) with a strong southern Māori influence, partnered with the western instrumental elements of the cello and double bass. “We’re thrilled to be touring Tararua throughout the country and not only is this their debut with CMNZ, but we are also very pleased to include Tauranga and Gisborne amongst our touring centres for the first time. We look forward to building an enduring and strong partnership with these communities” said Gretchen La Roche, Chief Executive of CMNZ.

Ariana Tikao, vocals, taonga pūoro
Ruby Solly, vocals, taonga pūoro, cello
Phil Boniface, double bass
Alistair Fraser, taonga pūoro
Louise Pōtiki Bryant, digital imagery

Tour Dates
Friday 13 May, 7pm - Public Trust Hall, Wellington
Saturday 21 May, 7pm - Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga
Friday 27 May, 7pm - Glenroy Auditorium, Dunedin
Saturday 28 May, 7pm - The Great Hall, Christchurch
Saturday 9 July, 7pm - Lawson Field Theatre, Gisborne
Saturday 23 July, 7pm - Māngere Arts Centre, Auckland

The artists would like to thank the Ngāi Tahu Fund for supporting the creation of this collaborative performance and Te Rūnanga o Moeraki for permission to use the bird-man motif from rock art at Maerewhenua.