A tale of volcanic jealousy expressed in music

Last updated 12:00 08/06/2012

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Palmerston North's long-suffering Regent theatre will be subjected to a musical earthquake and volcanic eruption next week, when Vector Wellington Orchestra performs its annual Baby Pops concert.

A huge percussion section will mimic in sound the noises that might have been made when Mt Taranaki and Mt Tongariro fought over the lovely Mt Pihanga, musically telling a version of the Maori stories that explain how the landscape formed.

Orchestra education composer in residence Thomas Goss hastens to say it won't all be banging and crashing. The 16-minute work, which premieres in Palmerston North, also has a hauntingly lovely oboe solo for Mt Pihanga.

Goss says when he researched the Maori legends, he was fascinated by the imagination and craft the storytellers used to explain their physical world in terms their listeners could to relate to.

"So we have very human emotions – Taranaki and Tongariro jealously wooing Pihanga, who tells her suitors she will pick the one who cares for her the most."

Baby Pops, which is music designed for children and the not-so-little aged from 2 up, will also feature counting and alphabet rhymes this year.Baby Pops, Vector Wellington Orchestra, Regent on Broadway, June 15, 10.15am.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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