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Gretchen Albrecht West Coast – Red And Gold Sky, 1976, acrylic on canvas, 1666 x 1780mm. Reproduced by permission of the artist, Image Courtesy Of the artist



From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs 1 1 The Invocation of the Sea 2 2 Thus Spake the Sea Gongs 3 Waipoua

1 Te Papa

Karanga mere boynton


mezzo-soprano virginia-marie stack


tenor simon o’neill


clarinet MARY SCOTT

4 Le Temps est à la Pluie


5 Tabuh Pacific


6 Queen of Demons


2 Te Papa (log drum’n’bass mix)


3 Te Papa (urenui mix - Sam Negri)


Total 19:21 MMT2026 Digital Stereo Recording

Total 68:13 MMT2021 Digital Stereo Recording C 1997 HRL MORRISON MUSIC TRUST P 1997 HRL MORRISON MUSIC TRUST





A sound penetrates the depths. For a few moments nothing happens. Then, imperceptibly, a low pulsating begins. The gongs start to vibrate,

From the Depths Sound the Great Sea

to rise and rush towards the surface. The sea

Gongs (1996) dedicated to Jeremy Fitzsimons

churns and boils, its colours changing, sap-

& Murray Hickman commissioned by the New

phire, emerald, steely grey.

Zealand Symphony Orchestra for its 50th Anniversary The Invocation of the Sea The sounds gather in the air, music from the far reaches of the Pacific, the drums of Rarotonga in the East, the gamelan of Bali in the West, the taiko of Japan in the North, the haka of Aotearoa

The sea explodes as the gongs burst forth, gleaming bronze, trailing strings of seaweed. They hang in the sky, austere and silent. Trillions of litres of water splash off the gongs back into the sea, wiping out a small outpost of French scientists on a nearby atoll.

in the South. The sounds dart over the waves,

The gongs sound a single cadential note and,

mingling into the great crescendo, millions of

without fuss, slide back into the sea.

voices singing, millions of hands drumming, as one. Thus Spake the Sea Gongs

Waipoua (1994) dedicated to Ryan Reiss

The flurry of sound stirs up little whirlwinds on

Waipoua is an exploration of the lyrical and

the surface of the water, as they beg the sea to

emotional capabilities of my favourite wind

hear their invocation.

instrument, the clarinet. It is also a recollection

Far below in the gloomy depths lurk the Great

of a memorable trip to the Waipoua State For-

Sea Gongs. Unseen by human eyes, they hang motionless, bronze monuments in a world untouched by light. There, they have remained, silent, for millions of years, waiting‌

est, with its healing air, cool green light, delicate echoing sounds, and the overwhelming sight of Tane-Mahuta, the giant Kauri.

Le Temps est à la Pluie (1995)

to CÍ, D, E, GÍ, A in western tuning) covering

commissioned by Musicians Against Nuclear

several octaves, and each member of the

Arms, for the 1995 Greenpeace concert held

ensemble plays a limited number of single

in Wellington, New Zealand, to protest against

pitches. Consequently, the music of one

French testing and raise funds for the Rainbow

individual in the group is meaningless until it

Warrior II.

weaves and blends with the other players to

A threnody to all life in the Pacific region that has fallen victim to radiation leaks from French nuclear testing on Polynesian atolls over the last four decades. Nuclear contamination of the area occurred in several instances in the form of fallout and contaminated rain upon

create a multitude of intricate, delicate patterns. These patterns (kotekan) shift and interlock in subtle, graceful combinations which are occasionally articulated by the booming resonance of the largest gongs, and the drums which signal time and sectional changes.

unsuspecting inhabitants, who are dependent

Tabuh Pacific is sort of concerto for two

on the rain for their water supply.

orchestras which take turns in displaying the types of sounds with which they are traditionally associated – the gamelan, bright and energetic

Tabuh Pacific (1995) dedicated to Shane

or smooth and flowing; the orchestra, heavy and


romantic or transparent and static. The groups

Tabuh Pacific was composed as a lively dialogue between two diverse instrumental

alternate for a while and then come together in a crazed romp at the end of the piece.

ensembles, the symphony orchestra and the

Queen of Demons (1997) commissioned by

Balinese gamelan. Like the orchestra, the

the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

gamelan is a large ensemble of multiple timbres, primarily percussion.

Queen of Demons is Farr’s second orchestral piece that is based on the Hebrew myth of the

The pitched elements of the gamelan gong

demonic Lilith, the first being Lilith’s Dream of

kebyar are tuned to a five-note scale (translating


After Lilith was cast out of the Garden of Eden for being too dominant in character, she reformed herself as a great demon, and began to produce Lilim (baby Liliths) at the rate of 1000 a day – her band of demons. This work evokes the terrifyingly beautiful sight of Lilith leading her flock of black demons, flying through the air, plummeting from the sky, and creating havoc wherever they land.

CD2 Te Papa (1996) “The thing that struck me about Charm when I first read it, was the wonderful concept of the spirit of the land – te wairua o te whenua.

finally, it is a musical celebration that we all have ended up here on the same soil.� Charm, an anonymous poem taken from 100 New Zealand Poems, chosen by Bill Manhire was translated into Maori by Tamatai Ngarimu. Charm

The land is our mother, she cares for all of her

I arrive where an unknown earth

children. We have all at some point in time been

is under my feet

a stranger to this land, and as visitors, we have

I arrive where a new sky is above me

all been welcomed by her.

I arrive at this land

Charm is a poem from the mid 19th century, a time when all Europeans were recent visitors to the land. It is likely, however, that this poem was a Maori charm originally, translated into English

A resting place for me O spirit of the earth! the stranger humbly offers his heart As food for thee

by settlers, suggesting that Maori also felt the

Ka tu ahau irunga i te papa tau hou

same way about Aotearoa.

Ka tu ahau iraro i te rangi hou

We now live in a unique multi-cultural society. Our many and varied contemporary art forms reflect this fact, and display something that could only be created here. This piece is a recognition of the similarities and differences of all of the cultures of New Zealand. It is a musical analogy to my ideal that cultures can co-exist without overshadowing or changing one other. And

A ko Aotearoa Hei Kainga tuturu moku Ko te wairua ote whenua Te tangata tau hou Ka homai te aroha kia ahau Hei oranga moku


Gareth Farr was born in Wellington, New

alter-ego, the percussion-playing drag queen

Zealand. He began his studies in composition

Lilith Lacroix.

and percussion performance at Auckland University. The experience of hearing a visiting gamelan orchestra prompted his return to Wellington to attend Victoria University, where the characteristic rhythms and textures of the Indonesian gamelan rapidly became the hallmarks of his own composition. Farr continued with postgraduate study in composition and percussion at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where his teachers included Samuel Adler and Christopher Rouse.

The inclusion of his works in four events at the 1996 New Zealand International Festival of the Arts – the ballet score for Douglas Wright’s Buried Venus, Lilith’s Dream of Ecstasy, for orchestra, Kembang Suling, and the Bach-inBali piano solo Sepuluh Jari – kick-started his career as a dedicated freelance composer. Since then, his music has been heard at, or especially commissioned for, high-profile events including the 50th anniversary of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (the 25-minute From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs),

In 1993, at the age of 25, Farr was appointed

the opening of the Museum of New Zealand

composer-in-residence by Chamber Music New

Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa, a work hailed as

Zealand, the youngest-ever composer to hold

‘music with a powerful and moving impact that

that position. This resulted in the composition of

transcends idiom and individual taste’), and

three substantial works, Owhiro (String Quartet

the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney (Hikoi,

No. 1), Kebyar Moncar (for gamelan) and the

a concerto for percussionist Evelyn Glennie

chamber sextet Cadenza. At the conclusion of

and the NZSO). In 2003, a commission by

the residence, Farr returned to the Eastman

the Auckland Festival resulted in Stone and

School to begin a doctorate in composition. As

Ice, composed for the combined forces of

well as composing Kembang Suling (for flute

the NZSO and the Auckland Philharmonia

and marimba, his most popular work to date)

Orchestra. In 2006 Gareth was made an

and three works for orchestra during this time,

Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for

Farr also introduced audiences to his on-stage

his services to music and entertainment.

Farr’s music is particularly influenced by his

stirring music touring a number of centres in

extensive study of percussion, both Western

New Zealand.

and non-Western. Rhythmic elements of his compositions can be linked to the complex and exciting rhythms of Rarotongan log drum ensembles, Balinese gamelan and other percussion music of the Pacific Rim.

In 2006-8, Farr has developed a fruitful collaboration with director and librettist Paul Jenden, producing three comedy musicals. Troy is a witty retelling of the classical myth, Monarchy a romp through the history of the

In addition to his music for the concert chamber,

British Monarchy and Rome an evening at home

Farr has written music for dance, theatre and

with the Caesars.

television. In 2003 Farr won the Chapman Tripp theatre award for his soundtrack to Vula – a NZ/Pacific Island theatre piece – that went on to perform extensively overseas including Australia, the Netherlands and London.

In 2007 Farr was appointed as ComposerIn-Residence for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra culminating in 2008 with the premiere of Ex Stasis a symphonic song cycle for four soloists. In 2008 Farr also

In 2006, the Royal New Zealand Ballet toured

celebrated the world premiere of his new

the country with their brand new work The

work Terra Incognita, for bass baritone solo,

Wedding, featuring a score by Gareth Farr. At

choir and orchestra, performed by Paul

90 mins, it was among the ballet company’s

Whelan and the Orpheus Choir with the New

most ambitious projects, and brought Farr

Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by

together with prominent New Zealand novellist

Paul MacAlindin.

and librettist Witi Ihimaera. Farr’s music was integral to Maui – One Man Against the Gods, a stage show four years in

For more information, visit:

the making. First premiered in 2003, in incom-

The music of Gareth Farr is published

plete form, it featured aerial theatre, Maori kapa

exclusively by Promethean Editions:

haka, contemporary dance and song, with Farr’s

Kenneth Young is one of New Zealand’s

excerpts with the New Zealand tenor Keith

leading conductors. He has established

Lewis. He has also regularly conducted sea-

himself as a passionate and skilled interpreter

sons with the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

of the Romantic and 20th-Century repertoire, and twenty years of practical orchestral playing have given him a specialised rapport with his colleagues. Himself a composer, he has a particular interest in post-Romantic repertoire, and he has received recognition for his recordings of New Zealand orchestral music. Young took up the position of principal tuba with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 1976 and his experience as a conductor with the NZSO dates from 1985, culminating in his appointment as the orchestra’s conductor-inresidence early in 1993. In 2001 he resigned from the NZSO in order to pursue his conducting and composing career fulltime. Young has worked with all the regional orchestras throughout New Zealand, and his engagements with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra have included highly acclaimed recordings of the orchestral works of Edwin Carr, Gareth Farr, Douglas Lilburn, Lyell Cresswell and many others, and opera

Outside New Zealand, Young has worked with the Queensland Orchestra, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the City of Osaka Sinfonia, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his work as a performer and a conductor, Young has become one of New Zealand’s leading composers. Commissions from Chamber Music New Zealand, the NZSO, the International Festival of the Arts and Radio New Zealand have been performed nationwide and also in the United States, Europe and Australia. He has also been a member of the music faculty at Victoria University of Wellington since 1988.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

In 2005 the NZSO undertook a highly suc-

was founded in 1946 and is the country’s

cessful tour that included performances at the

leading professional orchestra. It has an

BBC Proms, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw,

establishment of 90 players and performs over

Snape Maltings in England and the World

100 concerts annually. Touring within New

Expo at Aichi in Japan. The London Evening

Zealand looms large in the Orchestra’s activi-

Standard headlined the Proms concert as a

ties; the Orchestra performs for some 25 New

“Triumph for Kiwis” while The Times wrote

Zealand centres annually.

of “the feel-good energy of this Orchestra:

In August 2008 the Orchestra travelled to China to take part in the Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival performing at the Forbidden City and the National Centre for the Performing Arts.

its brightly focused strings, its characterful woodwind and its noble brass”.

The NZSO has an extensive catalogue of

Coroboree is given star billing, joining the list

recordings. Over one million CDs have been

of NZSO CDs that have been featured in the

sold internationally in the last decade and

Editor’s Choice section.

they have received critical acclaim. Gramophone magazine welcomed the NZSO’s first recording with Pietari Inkinen (of Sibelius tone poems) by saying “perceptive and engaging Sibelius from this promising young Finnish conductor”. In the September 2008 issue, the Orchestra’s recording of John Antill’s

Other repertoire recorded by the Orchestra includes music by Elgar (three discs), Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven, Bernstein, Copland, Lilburn, Sculthorpe, Frank Bridge, Akutagawa, Mendelssohn, Honegger, Liszt and Vaughan Williams.

Gretchen Albrecht Gretchen Albrecht (b.1943) has exhibited in New Zealand and internationally for more than 35 years. Recent work has appeared in exhibitions in both Europe and the USA, including the exhibition Decades at Robert Steele Gallery, New York and a major survey exhibition Illuminations held at the Auckland Art Gallery in 2002. In 2005, a retrospective exhibition of oval and hemispherical paintings, accompanied by recent works on paper and editions was shown at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and the City Gallery in Wellington. Albrecht’s work as an abstract artist has evolved from the rectangular stained canvases of the late seventies into a pair of signature formats, the hemisphere (half circle) and the oval, shapes that she associates with particular meanings and states of mind. In the resulting works resonant combinations of colour and geometry create images with a clear poetic impulse in which references to landscape, family and the cosmos act as emotional points of departure.

Early in 2000 Pohutukawa (The Cicada’s Song) a commissioned work was installed in the newly developed foyer of the Royal & Sun Alliance building in Shortland Street, Auckland, while later the same year a work of similar scale was installed in the renovated Air New Zealand first class lounge at Sydney’s International Airport.

Recorded at Symphony House, Wellington, New Zealand, August 1997 & March 1998 Technical Production Atoll Ltd Producer: Wayne Laird Recording Engineer: Sam Negri Digital Editing and Mastering: Wayne Laird * Technical Production Pacific Sound * Producers Sam Negri & Gareth Farr * Digital Editing and Mastering Sam Negri † Technical Production Pacific Sound † Producers Sam Negri & 50 Hz † Digital Editing and Mastering Sam Negri & 50 Hz Executive Producers Hamish Morrison, Russell Armitage & Ross Hendy Booklet Notes Gareth Farr Design Mallabar Music NZSO Photo Robert Catto The HRL Morrison Music Trust gratefully acknowledges the support of the following people and organizations in the making of this recording: Creative New Zealand, The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Sound Studios The music of Gareth Farr is published exclusively by Promethean Editions Ltd.

¶ Gareth Farr plays the University of Canterbury’s Banyu Gunung Salju Balinese gamelan gong kebyar, with kind assistance from Elaine Dobson and the University of Canterbury School of Music. The HRL Morrison Music Trust was established in March 1995 as a charitable trust to support New Zealand musicians of international calibre. All funds received by the Trust are used to make recordings, present concerts – both in New Zealand and overseas – and assist artists to undertake projects to further develop their talents. HRL Morrison Music Trust P O Box 1395 Wellington, New Zealand More information about other releases by the HRL Morrison Music Trust can be found at: ALL RIGHTS OF THE PRODUCER AND OF THE OWNER OF THE WORK REPRODUCED ARE RESERVED. UNAUTHORISED COPYING, HIRING, LENDING, PUBLIC PERFORMANCE AND BROADCASTING OF THIS RECORDING IS PROHIBITED.

The Gareth Farr Collection



CD1 From the Depths Sound the

Gareth Farr Sea Gongs

Great Sea Gongs


1 1 The Invocation of the Sea

MMT2021D (MMT2021 & MMT2026)

2 2 Thus Spake the Sea Gongs

8:31 17:24 5:02

3 Waipoua


4 Le Temps est à la Pluie Gareth Farr Chamber Music MMT2020

Gareth Farr Owhiro String Quartets

5 Tabuh Pacific ¶


6 Queen of Demons


MMT2021 Total 68:13



Gareth Farr Ruaumoko MMT2042

1 Te Papa


2 Te Papa (log drum’n’bass mix) *


3 Te Papa (urenui mix – Sam Negri) † 4:17 Gareth Farr Tangaroa Marimba Music MMT2058

MMT2026 Total 19:21

Digital Stereo Recording C 1997-1998 HRL MORRISON MUSIC TRUST

Gareth Farr Warriors from Pluto MMT2036


Farr: From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs  

Fully re-packaged, Gareth Farr: Sea Gongs combines two classic Farr titles into this two-disc deluxe edition. CD 1, Farr: Orchestral Music (...

Farr: From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs  

Fully re-packaged, Gareth Farr: Sea Gongs combines two classic Farr titles into this two-disc deluxe edition. CD 1, Farr: Orchestral Music (...