Cultures combine for the sake of music

Last updated 12:00 14/12/2012
COLLABORATIVE: Palmerston North musician Rob Thorne will lend his taonga puoro to a collaborative piece between himself, Italian guitarist Lorenzo Buhne and Korean dancer Saes Byeol Cha at Te Manawa this weekend.

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Te Manawa will host one of its most culturally diverse performances this weekend, when traditional Maori, Italian and Korean artists come together.

Palmerston North's Rob Thorne has been working with Italian guitarist Lorenzo Buhne and Korean dancer Saes Byeol Cha on an hour-long piece based around experiences Cha has had.

Thorne says the three were brought together by Kay Flavell, the director of New Pacific Studio in Mt Bruce.

"I was a resident there for two weeks in 2004. Lorenzo has also been a resident, and Cha is a current resident.

"I'm actually still what they call a ‘resident at large'. It reminds me a bit of Paddington Bear - at large."

Thorne says working with Cha is a great experience.

"It's awesome to have this opportunity to work with a dancer. I've being doing quite a bit of personal research into Korean music, which is very chamatic.

"There is lots of natural resources used [in instruments], like bone and wood."

Thorne is experienced in working with bone and wood, as he makes his own traditional Maori instruments, known as taonga puoro.

He also shares a past in common with Buhne; both come from a background of noise or punk bands, but have moved on to more sedate and traditional music.

"Lorenzo actually played in Fear and took over bass duties from Flea [from Red Hot Chili Peppers]."

However, working with people from different cultures does present challenges, Thorne says.

"There are difficulties with language, but I enjoy those difficulties.

"I enjoy working out how we communicate differently, so you really have to observe yourself and understand what you want."

Those heading down to the free performance on Sunday will experience something "very different, but also very beautiful and very creative".

"The stuff Lorenzo does on guitar is so beautiful. It's totally original, but based on old traditional Italian songs."

Korean meets Kiwi - Moon, Stars, Mountain is on at Te Manawa this Sunday at 2pm. Entry is free.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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