Wai from New Zealand with the EcoSono Ensemble
Technosonics Festival, Charlottesville, Virginia
September 23, 2018
Wai features Mina Ripia, Maaka Phat, Uta Te Whanga, and Tuari Dawson
EcoSono Ensemble features Matthew Burtner, Glen Whitehead, Kevin Davis, Christopher Luna-Mega, and I-Jen Fang
Wai and EcoSono explore intercultural histories through the exchange of musical invention in collaboration with the environment. Combining the ancient “Punga (anchor) and the “Poi” technologies with contemporary computer music and ecoacoustic approaches, Wai and EcoSono engage in interactive improvisations through sound, song, movement and ecology.
“Ehara, taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa, takitini” – My strength is not of an
individual, but that of the collective.
For the past two decades, WAI has been an innovative music-based cultural voice deconstructing stereotypes of Maori culture and reclaiming the past while defining the future anew. WAI are proud ambassadors for a cultural renaissance that is taking place across the Pacific, from the explosion in the Hawaiian recording industry to the Land of The Long White Cloud, better known as Aotearoa / New Zealand. Spending several years in London the group’s debut album Wai100% charmed critics at both ends of the earth and plenty of places in between with two nominations for the BBC World Music Awards and some intensive touring since, with dazzling performances around Europe and North America.
“…Jimmy Hendrix meets National Geographic”
The EcoSono Ensemble, led by composer/eco-acoustician Matthew Burtner and trumpeter/sound artist Glen Whitehead, creates interactive earth music with a collective of diverse musicians, artists, scientists and activists from around the globe. As a branch of the EcoSono Institute, this ensemble employs improvisation and composition as a multidimensional activity, integrating ecoacoustics, technology, environmental exploration, cross-disciplinary collaborations, cultural exchange and environmental activism into artistic output and virtuosic instrumental and vocal performance. EcoSono pursues commonalities between interdisciplinary music creation and ecological awareness often blurring the lines between installation, field research and performance. The ensemble is equally at home performing in deep forests, wind-swept shores, urban landscapes, galleries and clubs, and in the finest concert halls across the globe. The EcoSono Ensemble has performed across the U.S., Canada, Korea, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Mexico.
Sponsored by the Gassmann Fund for Innovation in Music, UVA’s coastal ecology Conservatory, and the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa