Connecting with innerlandscapes: Taonga pūoro, musical improvisation and exploring acoustic Aotearoa/New Zealand

Lowe, Sebastian J., and Fraser, Alistair (2018) Connecting with innerlandscapes: Taonga pūoro, musical improvisation and exploring acoustic Aotearoa/New Zealand. Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies, 6 (1). pp. 5-20.

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When ngā taonga pūoro (traditional instruments of the Māori) practitioners improvise music in the natural environment, they can be seen as explorers navigating and traversing the contours of the acoustic landscapes. As these practitioners come into dialogue with the non-humans of the natural environment, they are able to transform these relational experiences into sound phenomena, which in turn (re)create places that are meaningful to the practitioner and their audiences – human and otherwise. Taking a point of departure in a discussion between anthropologist Sebastian J. Lowe and renowned taonga pūoro practitioner Alistair Fraser, this article looks at how Fraser enters into Te Ao Māori (the Māori world or dimension) and comes into dialogue with the entities of Te Ao Tūroa (the natural world). In 2013, Fraser released an album called Rakiura (Stewart Island), which he made as part of aCreative New Zealand/ Department of Conservation (DOC) Wild Creations Artist Residency. Throughout his six-week field research together with local iwi Ngai Tahu in 2011, Alistair researched, made and performed taonga pūoro from the area of southern Aotearoa/New Zealand. This article, which takes Fraser’s album as an ethnographic case study, aims to challenge the way we explore, expand and extend our appreciation of acoustic Aotearoa, thereby potentially opening up new spaces for understanding, interacting and ultimately respecting our environments.

Item ID: 55893
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2050-4047
Keywords: Māori culture, taonga pūoro, improvisation, natural environments, acoustemology, relational epistemology
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Intellect Ltd Article.
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2018 02:41
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440107 Social and cultural anthropology @ 20%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4507 Te ahurea, reo me te hītori o te Māori (Māori culture, language and history) > 450715 Te puoro me ngā mahi a te rēhia o te Māori (Māori music and performing arts) @ 80%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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