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John Rimmer: Pukeko - AUDIOEmbedded audio
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Pukeko is a setting of a poem by the prominent New Zealand writer Ian Wedde and was composed in 1972 while John Rimmer was the Mozart Fellow and Ian Wedde was the Burns Fellow at the University of Otago in Dunedin. The piece follows the mood of the poem with demonstrative gestures in the opening - 'the mind can fly like a cool blue Braque bird straight to the heart of a storm' through to the delicate textures of 'but consider the pukeko going doubtfully on spindly legs among swamp grasses'.
At the end an improvisation features some of the players whispering the last line 'poor ludicrous fowl' while the soprano hums previous motives ad libitum and the horn and cello provide high wailing sounds.
Pukeko was first performed at Milton High School on 7 August 1972 during a tour of Otago schools by the Marama Players of the Department of Music, University of Otago.
Text by Ian Wedde
07 Aug 1972: Performed by Marama Players - Honor McKellar (soprano), Kathleen Wood (flute/piccolo), Peter Platt (oboe), John Rimmer (hn), Polly Sussex (cello) and Maurice Till (piano) at Milton High School, in Milton, Otago
23 Jul 1989: Performed by the Karlheinz Company in July 1989 at the Music Theatre, at the University of Auckland.