A Span­ish en­counter


The an­tipodes or ge­o­graph­i­cal op­po­site of Palmer­ston North is the town of San Martin de Valdei­gle­sias, 70 kilo­me­tres west of Madrid in Spain.

A lo­cal mu­si­cal per­for­mance cel­e­brat­ing the con­nec­tion is due at an arts fes­ti­val in Aus­tralia, and later, on the Ibe­rian Peninsula it­self.

From Au­gust last year, Manawatu mu­si­cians War­ren and Vir­ginia War­brick pre­sented TAHI80, an arts project that ex­plored artis­tic and cul­tural con­nec­tions be­tween Manawatu and Spain.

Com­bin­ing Span­ish clas­si­cal mu­sic with New Zealand po­etry, mod­ern mu­sic and tra­di­tional Maori in­stru­men­ta­tion, it in­cluded the world pre­miere of Ciento Ochenta by Welling­ton com­poser and early mu­sic spe­cial­ist Pepe Becker, com­mis­sioned by the War­bricks with help from the Earle Cre­ativ­ity Trust.

War­ren, a maker and player of taonga puoro, said the mu­sic of Ciento Ochenta spanned 600 years and told the story of a Ran­gi­tane to­hunga who dis­cov­ers sounds com­ing from a tun­nel through the earth to Spain.

Hav­ing toured the per­for­mance around the re­gion’s town halls last year, Toi War­brick now has a new ver­sion of TAHI80.

‘‘It was a great pe­riod of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion for us and we are pleased to present ver­sion 2.0 - An­tipodeans,’’ Vir­ginia said.

‘‘We are es­pe­cially stoked that we are booked to per­form at the Ade­laide Fringe Fes­ti­val in March, and we’re set to share our project on the ex­act op­po­site side of the world, in San Martin de Valdei­gle­sias, Spain, in Au­gust.’’

Be­fore go­ing to Ade­laide next month, the pair are putting on a per­for­mance com­bined with an arts event and a marae ex­pe­ri­ence on Sun­day af­ter­noon at Ran­giotu’s his­toric Te Rangi­marie Marae on SH56.

Short pre-show work­shops in Maori mu­sic, Maori art, early mu­sic, art mu­sic and con­cept de­vel­op­ment are to be con­ducted by Becker, artist Reweti Arap­ere and the War­bricks.

‘‘It’s also a way of in­tro­duc­ing peo­ple, who may have never been on one, to the marae,’’ Vir­ginia said.

In­for­ma­tion and book­ings for the event, which in­cludes re­fresh­ments, are avail­able on Face­book and Eventfinda. There are no door sales.


War­ren War­brick (left) ac­com­pa­ny­ing Vir­ginia War­brick on a putorino dur­ing a per­for­mance of ‘‘Tahi80’.

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