Pyramid Club is proud to present Pūoro Tū, a festival of adventures in Māori instruments and sound. Co-curated by Kai Tahu musician Ruby Solly, Alistair Fraser and Pyramid Club, the festival brings together many of Aotearoa's leading and emerging voices in taonga pūoro (traditional Māori musical instruments). It is a celebration of this tradition and a forum to forge new pathways with ancient knowledge and taonga.
Foreword to the festival, by Ruby Solly
Pūoro tū; upstanding music and sound. But what does it mean to stand? What does it mean to take up space within sound; the invisible highway of understanding that moves through the air, through time, through the body and the wairua.
Some may say it means volume, it means to be loud enough to be heard through time and dimension. Others may say it means numbers, having as many as possible playing as much as possible. To others, to stand is to embody a daily practice. It is waking with the dawn to converse with the manu, it is using kōauau to cry for you when you are not yet free to draw from he puna roimata yourself. The success of pūoro is all of these things and more. It is a finely crafted ecosystem where all are able to move and grow under a suspended sky.
There are many reasons for us as manuwhakatangitangi to gather at this time. To see how our own voices have developed as we have been cocooned within the care of Hineraukatauri, to clear the pathways to each other so we can play again to become more of who we are, to learn of each other’s journeys and through our hā transform these stories to song, to welcome our rangatahi into a whānau they have been part of since their first pūoro came forth, and to honour our dead by continuing their actions. We are here to repay music with music, and kind with kind.
Sit down with anyone in this room, and they will tell you the same story with different characters. They will tell you how pūoro came into a quiet life, or a life with too much sound. They will tell you of someone who helped them find their oro, of the calm smile from them as they first created sound. Of the sharp gasp when they recognised that the oro was both theirs and the instruments. They will tell you of experiencing te taiao as a living and breathing part of its function, they will tell you of the other players and how within this orchestra made from as many soloists as its members they have found some kind of whānau, some kind of softness in which to play and grow.
Because despite all our differences, despite our uniqueness as individual practitioners, players, listeners, and admirers of this way of life, we all can come to agree on these things. Firstly, we wish for pūoro to thrive, to be well, to honour its routes and futures. And secondly, we wish the same for each other, for the pūoro is only as strong and safe as its players, as its kaitiaki. So here we are to share, to whakaora, to whakaoro, to grow together as ourselves and as whānau. May ‘Pūoro Tū’ be a puna ora from which you may take and give all these things, may this be a time we sustain ourselves in order to sustain others. May this be a time that all our oro, resound and stand.
Because of Covid restrictions, many events will be taking place offsite from Pyramid Club. If we need to adapt the programme due to changing Covid alert levels, these will be posted here, and through Pyramid Club's facebook page.