Rob is the current Creative NZ / Jack C. Richards 2017 Composer-In-Residence at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University, Wellington
Rob is a profoundly original voice in the evolving journey of Taonga Puoro.
His inaugural solo album on Rattle Records, "Whāia Te Māramatanga" (2013) 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. Every performance is a stunning and very personal exploration of the spiritual and healing qualities of an ancient practise.
"Thorne has successfully re-imagined and reconstructed traditional Māori instrumental music for the 21st century." - NZ Musician
Fis and Rob Thorne
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.
"Thorne's unique instrumentation awash with Fis' juggernaut mix of murky electronics" - Bleep
"These two musicians hit with a weight of a dynamo" - Fluid Radio
Te Ao Hou / This New World - Rob Thorne and the New Zealand String Quartet
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.
Music by New Zealand composers Gillian Whitehead, Gareth Farr and Salina Fisher further ignites the synergies between taonga pūoro and Western string instruments. Another ground-breaking collaboration by the virtuosic New Zealand String Quartet, our leading chamber ensemble.
Tania Giannouli and Rob Thorne
Piano and Taonga Puoro
A project of deep and visceral improvisations by two uncompromising explorative musicians. Their forthcoming album "Rewa" that was recorded in Athens in April 2017 at AntArt Studios is being released May 2018 on Rattle Records.
"This album has terrific presence and grunt!" Steve Garden (Rattle Records)
Te Kōkī Acousmatic Dawn Chorus and Birdsong Archive Project
In association with Kent Macpherson of WINTEC and The New Zealand School of Music.
Thorne / Johnston
"Five conversations between taonga pūoro and performative technology"
Live flitered electronics of taonga puoro.
Manifesto for a drowning nation: The form we use to keep up to date with the world is tearing us apart through our togetherness - the same way cultural identities are strengthened through a globalised world, so too are personal identities threatening a return to base tribalism - We are prompted to identify things that make us different rather than our shared humanity. A meta-cognitive paradigm shift must occur within each of us if we are to survive: A mindfulness practise - A compassion practise - Te Reo must be in schools - Plant trees - Representative democracy continues to fail many people - Energy must be part of the ‘Shared commons’, the land is what sustains us and belongs to all. A return to commoning is crucial, with an emphasis on ‘conviviality’. We are tied to a large weight pulling us towards a cataclysmic change. Now more than ever we need visions of what could be, not just a refusal of what is.
George Johnston, sonic artist, noise generator.