Celebrating Matariki with a DRUM Wave

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington is celebrating Matariki with a multi-performer DRUM (Distributed Rhythms United Mix) Wave on the Wellington waterfront.

The DRUM Wave performance has been created by New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī director Professor Sally Jane Norman in collaboration with composer Riki Gooch. It celebrates the University’s strong connection to the capital city as it commemorates its 125th anniversary.

There will be two performances of the DRUM Wave outside Te Papa Tongarewa at 6 pm (after the opening karakia) and 7 pm on Thursday 23 June, which will help kick off the Wellington City Council’s Matariki ki Pōneke celebrations.

Professor Norman says the DRUM Wave will be a memorable, shareable sonic signature for the people of Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

“The twelve-minute sequence is scored as a sonic wave, paying homage to Matariki’s cosmic cycles, and echoing the breathing tidal flows of our harbour.

“Percussionists aligning the Ara Moana eastern and northern axes will perform a rhythmic motif that draws on Pacific, Asian, and Western traditions.”

Riki Gooch says, "I have written this as an ode to Matariki, to reflect on loved ones who have passed on and to create a sense of joy by aligning different musical experiences, intelligence, and whakapapa together to blast the new year ahead into a prosperous one for all. Mauri ora."

The DRUM Wave is part of the Matariki ki Pōneke celebrations (23-26 June) presented by Wellington City Council. Find out more about the Matariki celebrations and view the full schedule on the Wellington City Council website.

DRUM Wave performance
Thursday 23 June
6 pm: Karakia outside Te Papa, followed by the twelve-minute DRUM Wave on Wellington waterfront.
7 pm: Second performance of the twelve-minute DRUM Wave on Wellington waterfront.
This event is weather dependent.

Celebrating 125 years
The Te Herenga Waka community is marking its 125th anniversary in a number of ways, including with Tō Tātou Hīkoitanga—Our Journey, a photographic and visual timeline display of the University’s history, milestones, and people. The timeline has been installed in the Hub on Kelburn campus and is also available on the 125 website.

Alumni, staff, students, and friends have also been invited to get involved in the 125th celebrations by sharing their fondest memories of the University. The memories can be viewed on the 125 website, and members of the University community are invited to share their own memories.