Ipu :: gourd

Ipu :: gourd

Gillian Whitehead
Tungia Baker (voice)
Richard Nunns (taonga pūoro)
Judy Bailey (piano)
Georg Pedersen (cello)

Based on a story by Tungia Baker, literally an Ipu is a gourd, for carrying food and goods. Ipu korero denotes a story-teller, someone who ‘carries’ stories. The Ipu is also employed, as heard here, as a musical instrument. From this vessel flows the musical threads of two cultures, Māori and Pakeha (European New Zealanders), and a poetic love story.

Ipu tells of the friendship of Waka, a canoe, and Kowhai, a tree whose flowers are loved by birds, but especially Waka. Tui, a friend to both, carries messages between them. Although warned by seabirds of a storm blowing in from the bay, the friends are unprepared for the havoc it wreaks on them. Eventually, Tui finds that Kowhai has taken root on the coast, while up in the valley Waka has started growing into a Totara tree. However, he can still see Kowhai, and she still sends him golden flowers.

Ipu brings together a unique ensemble of piano, cello, and pre-European Māori instruments and voice.

…. a finely meshed collaboration….A stunning vista is revealed…. A potent mix. William Dart, The Listener

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