Te Kahu

Violin and CD [15′].

Commissioned by Mark Menzies (Los Angeles, USA) with funding from Creative New Zealand. 2002.

One spring afternoon, I wander over the hills of Te Kahu farm with Mark Menzies. This is the New Zealand sheep farm where he grew up: a place of steep gullies where voices (and bagpipes) echo and macrocarpa trees cling stubbornly to the eroded slopes. Following the sound of frenzied bleating we arrive at the docking yard, a make-shift enclosure of metal gates and ramps where lambs and ewes are separated for the first time in their lives. While chatting politely with the resident farmers, the male lambs are neutered, a pungent smell of barbecue wafting over the paddock. ” Did you use to go to Raukawa School? What do you do in LA? Have you been up to the house, your old place, to have a look around?”

Violin and piano are played by the same performer.

Compact disc is amplified with loudspeaker playback.

Recorded voices: Mark Menzies, farmer Greaves.
Bagpipes: Bill Menzies.

Te Kahu was composed for Mark Menzies with funding from Creative New Zealand.