For their first concert of 2019, leading advocates for new music Stroma will present six works inspired by the natural environment to celebrate the iconic music of one of New Zealand’s most experienced composers.
Where Sea Meets Sky is an evening inspired by the iconic work of composer John Rimmer, who celebrates his 80th birthday in 2020. To mark this milestone, Stroma is delighted to bring audiences his work alongside five sea-themed pieces from around the globe.
“John Rimmer is one of New Zealand’s most iconic composers,” says Artistic Co-Director Michael Norris. “Many of his works have a concern with evoking the light, contours and sound environments of the natural world, particularly of Aotearoa.”
Rimmer’s piece, Where Sea Meets Sky 2, written in 1975, was inspired by a trans-Tasman plane journey in which the composer was entranced by the qualities of light and play when looking out of his window at the horizon of the Tasman Sea.
The audience will be transported into a world of sea and sky by projections of photographs by iconic New Zealand photographer Craig Potton.
Other works in the concert include the luminous shades of 13 couleurs du soleil couchant (13 Colours of the Setting Sun) by Tristan Murail (France), the hypnotic minimalism of Reflections by young Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and the evocative bass flute and harp work Pearls of the Sea by Eve de Castro-Robinson (NZ).
Deirdre Gribbin’s dark and mesmerising string quartet, What the Whaleship Saw, is based on the gruesome story of survival and cannibalism among the crew of the Nantucket whaler, the Essex, after it was wrecked by a whale. Also featured is the iconic brass work Fog Tropes by Ingram Marshall (USA), which featured in the soundtrack to the feature film Shutter Island.
John Rimmer has generously made himself available for a Q&A before the event, which will be chaired by Michael Norris and will feature Stroma conductor Hamish McKeich. This free bonus event will start at 6.45pm before the performance in the venue. Hannah Playhouse bar will open at 6pm.
Brighten the onset of winter with this first rate, one night only concert.
Hamish McKeich (conductor)
Anna van der Zee (violin)
Megan Molina (violin)
Emma Barron (viola)
Robert Ibell (cello)
Bridget Douglas (flute, bass flute)
Patrick Barry (clarinet)
Mark Carter (trumpet)
Matthew Stein (trumpet)
Sam Jacobs (horn)
Julian Leslie (horn)
David Bremner (trombone)
Shannon Pittaway (trombone)
Carolyn Mills (harp)
Kirsten Robertson (piano)
Thomas Guldborg (percussion)
Tristan Murail (FRANCE) 13 couleurs du soleil couchant — 12 mins
Bridget Douglas (flute), Patrick Barry (clarinet), Anna van der Zee (violin), Robert Ibell (cello), Kirsten Robertson (piano)
Anna Thorvaldsdottir (ICELAND) Reflections — 10 mins
Anna van der Zee (violin), Emma Barron (viola), Robert Ibell (cello)
Eve de Castro-Robinson (NZ) Pearls of the Sea — 8 mins
Bridget Douglas (bass flute), Carolyn Mills (harp)
John Rimmer (NZ) Where Sea Meets Sky 2 — 10 mins
Bridget Douglas (flute), Patrick Barry (clarinet), Megan Molina (violin), Robert Ibell (cello), Kirsten Robertson (piano), Thomas Guldborg (percussion)
Ingram Marshall (US) Fog Tropes — 10 mins
Mark Carter and Matthew Stein (trumpets), Sam Jacobs and Julian Leslie (horns), David Bremner and Shannon Pittaway (trombones)
Deirdre Gribbin (IRELAND) What the Whaleship Saw — 14 mins
Anna van der Zee and Megan Molina (violins), Emma Barron (viola), Robert Ibell (cello)
WHERE SEA MEETS SKY
7.30pm, Thursday 30 May
Q&A with John Rimmer from 6.45pm
Hannah Playhouse, 12 Cambridge Tce, Wellington
Stroma is an artistic team combining musicians at the highest standards of excellence in New Zealand. In 2020, Stroma will celebrate 20 years of engaging audiences with the music of living composers. At the core of this team lies the creative brilliance of composer Michael Norris (recent winner of the 2018 SOUNZ Contemporary Award) and acclaimed New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conductor Hamish McKeich, whose leadership during the past 15 years has produced innovative programmes unique to New Zealand and introduced audiences to new ideas from the global musical community. Since its inception in 2000, Stroma has not only commissioned and premiered more than 50 new works but has also given repeat performances of more than 40 existing New Zealand works.