The Song

Ethnomusicology and the Māori


Charles Koroneho (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Te Toki Haruru


The recordings that form the basis of The Song, are part of a Catalogue of Māori Purposes Fund Board recordings by W.T. Ngata 1953-58. The project uses archival recordings, transcripts and translations to re-position the songs academic and cultural isolation. The Song is a performance of poetic retrieval, a moment in time capturing the lives, voices and bodies of tribal artists living in 1950 -70’s New Zealand. The performance explores the ethnographer and cultural informant as an eloquent paradox and my intention to use esoteric language and poetry to occupy an ethnographic space is my attempt to understand the cultural dynamics experienced during the recording sessions. The objective of The Song is ceremonial transformation of the space and the contextual return of the songs to their spiritual and cosmological origins.

The Song – Live Zoom performance at the Garden Aotearoa opening, 8.9.2021.

Artist Biography:
Charles Koroneho is a protean artist working in the fields of indigenous research and creativity, performance and cultural practice. He created Te Toki Haruru-the resounding adze (est. 1997) to explore indigenous ceremonial practice, intercultural collaboration and the intersection between dance, theatre, and design. His projects are presented as performances, research workshops and arts collaborations exploring the collision between Maori cosmology, New Zealand society and global cultures.