Backstage Music

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Whāia Te Māramatanga - Rob Thorne

(Rattle Records/NZ)

Whāia te Māramatanga is a deeply felt and highly concentrated conversation between the past and the present - a musical passage of identity and connection. Using modern loop technology and traditional Māori flutes and horns made from stone, bone, shell and wood, Rob creates a transcendent aural experience that touches the soul with timeless beauty.

"Sometimes the whole thing feels like a lost instalment of Brian Eno’s ambient series. At other times it might be a field recording of the Earth sighing in its sleep" - NZ Listener



Clear Stones - Fis and Rob Thorne

(Subtext Recordings/Berlin)

Subtext presents Clear Stones, the first meeting between two distinct voices from New Zealand. In a unique collaboration, Māori sound artist Rob Thorne (Ngāti Tumutumu) and Berlin based electronic composer Fis dismantle boundaries in space, time, and genre, juxtaposing Thorne’s living, breathing practice with the weight of modern sound systems.

Recorded at Red Bull Studios, Berlin, February 2016

"Fis transforms Rob Thorne's traditional Māori instrumentation into a sound system destroyer"                        - Resident Advisor


Tomokanga - Rob Thorne & The New Zealand String Quartet

(Te Ao Hou - This New World: NZ Festival Performance)


At the heart of Te Ao Hou | This New World are the stone, wood, shell and bone of taonga pūoro (traditional Māori instruments). Born of the earth and water, these instruments produce sounds unique to Aotearoa. Conjuring a realm of light and dreams is Rob Thorne, a master of taonga pūoro, performing the world premiere of his Tomokanga with the New Zealand String Quartet.