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Blue Work

Otira Gorge

for orchestra

Instrumentation:  3*3*3*3*; 4331; Timp; 3Perc; strings

Instrumentation  3*3*3*3*; 4331; Timp; 3Perc...

Chris Adams

Composer:   Chris Adams

Films, Audio & Samples

Chris Adams introduces 'Oti...

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Chris Adams: Otira Gorge - ...

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Chris Adams: Otira Gorge; v...

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Gallery of Sound - VIDEO

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Unlike many New Zealand artists of the time Van der Velden became consumed – almost obsessed – by a single subject: a mountain stream at Otira. He painted it no fewer than eleven times between 1891 and 1893 in a range of sizes and exploring variations in the flow of water, rocks, skyline, forest, tone and colours.

“When the thunder rolled, and the wind howled, and the rain poured Van der Velden would go into the Gorge, whereas... when the sun shone from a cloudless sky, he would lie with his back to the grass near the hotel and sleep.”

Otira Gorge is inspired by a painting by Petrus Van der Velden held in the collection of the Auckland Art Gallery. Van der Velden’s “Otira Gorge” is painted with heavy, thick brush strokes and dark colours, and is evocative and turbulent. As well as reflecting the natural elements depicted in Van der Velden’s work, I explored the dramatic force of the original painting using the rich timbral medium of the orchestra.

Eight Col Petrus Van Der Velden   Mountain Stream  Otira Gorge   Google Art Project

Petrus van der Velden: Mountain Stream, Otira Gorge from Te Papa collection
Photo: Petrus Van der Velden [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons