Ipu by Gillian Whitehead brings together a unique ensemble of piano, cello, and pre-European Māori instruments and voice.
Ipu is a poetic tale of love based on a story by Tungia Baker (translated into Māori by Wena Tait). An ipu is a gourd used to carry food and goods and ipu korero denotes a story-teller, someone who ‘carries’ stories. The ipu is employed on Gillian’s album as a musical instrument.
Gillian Whitehead one of Aotearoa’s most respected composers reflects:
When I first heard Tungia’s story of Waka and Kowhai, I knew I wanted to tell it with music, weaving the voices of Māori instruments with those of cello and piano to create a soundscape which supported it. The Māori instruments are employed in sympathy with their traditional usage. The pu kaea for instance is heard only during the appearance of the war canoe, and the purerehua, which summons rain, presages the storm …
Featuring Tungia Baker (voice), Richard Nunns (taonga puoro), Judy Bailey (piano) and Georg Pedersen (cello).