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Ahotu is the sixth in a series of instrumental pieces based on the phases of the moon, and refers to the seventh day of the cycle. The entire thirty-day cycle has been used as one of the rhythmic generators of the piece, with vowels and consonants translated into durations to provide the apparently irrational rhythms, which are contrasted in a series of short ensemble or solo sections with either proportional or regular rhythms. The two longest sections are centrally placed. The first, featuring trombone and percussion, presents the language-based material in the percussion; the second, starting with the long piano solo, begins a mensural canon based on the proportional material. However, half-way through this canon, recapitulatory material begins, and subsequent appearances of the canon occur in continually shorter blocks, each transformed very differently. O Matenga, in the title of the piece, refers to the Maori custom, found also in many other civilisations, of providing sustenance for the spirit to the next world after death.
Commissioned by Flederman with funding assistance of the Music Board of the Australia Council
To the memory of the composer's father
Performed by Lontano, conducted by Odaline de la Martinez