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In the Mythology of the Māori people of New Zealand the universe was sung into being by the gods. Musical instruments are therefore closely associated with the gods. Hine Raukatauri was one of the daughters of Tane, the god of the forests and its creatures.
Hine Raukatauri loved her flute so much that she chose to live inside it. Flutes are the most common of the Māori musical instruments, and are made in a variety of sizes and from a variety of materials - often bone or wood.
This work takes the idea of a goddess of the flute as its starting point. Some of the musical material at the beginning is intended to suggested the music that might be heard on the koauau or putorino (types of Māori flute). These traditional instruments generally have a restricted range of pitches, often limited to three or four notes a tone or semitone apart.
Musically the work evolves from a cello of four notes: D-E-A-G sharp. At times quite tonal, and at times dissonant, the piece seldom strays far from ideas derived from that initial musical gesture. Some of the melodic material is also suggestive of bird-song, usually presented as a small 2-note falling figure.
The work is structured in an arch form (ABCBA) with a short cadenza for the soloist late in the work.
Hine Raukatauri was awarded the 2007 Haifa International Flute Competition for Composition 2007 (Israel).
21 Jun 2009: ACO: Alexa Still