The expression tangata whenua (literally “people of the land”) is the name the indigenous Maori of New Zealand use of themselves and a concept that sits at the heart of NZ culture. The tangata whenua are guardians of our natural resources, environment and sustainability – values and priorities shared by all New Zealanders, regardless of race.
In WSCM2020 we want to explore through choral music the relationship humans have with the land that supports them: the sense of identity they derive from it and the tensions that arise out of it. We believe this is a theme that touches all of us in some way, calling to mind such notions as family, nurture, identity, place, community, culture, celebration, nationalism, colonialism, dispossession, alienation, partnership, freedom, development, interconnectedness, environmentalism, urban living, the natural world, the seasons, stress and healing, beauty, nostalgia, utopia… to name but a few!
It is a theme that we hope will be interpreted freely and with flair by participating choirs, encouraging them to draw from a broad range of repertoire and styles in their programming.