A week ago we joined Isabella and a couple of her friends at Taonga Moana, a choral event staged as part of the Auckland Arts Festival.
The name means something like “Treasure of the Sea”. There was a complicated storyline about migrating birds, and Maori gods, and pollution.
The music was beautifully executed to my somewhat experienced ear, but was too hard for me to truly enjoy. The forms and rhythms were mostly too abstract, the harmonies too complex. There was a video backdrop showing various images and words. Also too deep for me.
I would have loved to hear this performance and discuss it with someone who really understands choral music, and specifically modern high concept choral music. Was this show ground-breaking or derivative? An excellent example of the genre or merely pretentious? But not having such a person close at hand, I had to settle for my own opinion. Great singing, but not in service of an inspiring work.
Here’s a short taste: Taonga Moana Trailer