REPORT: 'The Weather Choir 'Kōea ō Tāwhirimātea'

Sound & Video Installation: (ongoing 21 June 2022 - August 2022)
Breath of Weather Collective, Aotearoa New Zealand Te Moana Nui A Kiwa

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The Weather Choir 'Kōea ō Tāwhirimātea' - Breath of Weather Collective

The Weather Choir 'Kōea ō Tāwhirimātea' is an Aeolian (wind) harp array in eight climate-challenged locations: Tonga, Niue, Samoa, Rarotonga, and in Aotearoa (NZ), Whakatane, Haumoana, Taranaki and Tāmaki Makaurau(Auckland). The harps operate as both audible voicings of the weather in each location and as a virtual choir online, where sonic and visual reports are uploaded regularly via the World Weather Network site.

Aeolian harps: weather instruments

Kōea ō Tāwhirimātea: Weather Choir involves a collective of eight climate-challenged locations around Te Moana Nui a Kiwa: Tonga, Niue, Samoa, Rarotonga and Whakatane, Haumoana, Taranaki and Tāmaki Makaurau in Aotearoa. Local weather conditions are traced in each site via audio/video reports and recordings of an aeolian harp, an instrument played by the wind that functions as a quasi-art/weather-monitoring instrument. The Collective will create two linked voice streams for local and global online dissemination using mobile phone tools and the aeolian harps. Kitset harps were posted to the eight locations to be combined with local materials and installed on each coastline.

The first vocal stream comes from Ngā tangata, the people, providing regular in-situ reportage through video, audio, images and text of how variable weather and climate change impacts their local community and environment. The second stream is the collective voices of the wind harps, one per location, monitored and recorded for Kōea ō Tāwhirimātea/Weather Choir, an aeolian chorus.

The aeolian weather instrument array is considered as a metaphorical ‘body’, harmonically responding to the variabilities of wind and weather, consonant when calm, dissonant when wild. The Weather Choir operates as a continuous conceptual chorus and as a collective data-mix for website and later gallery performances.

Breath of Weather Collective

This project is a collaborative group called the Breath of Weather Collective. Regional locations and participant contacts are:

– Cook Islands: Te Ipukarea Society; Kelvin Passfield, Paris Tutty, Pouri Tanner, Sam Thomas, Terena Koteka-Wiki, Matt Blacka
– Kingdom of Tonga: Uili Lousi
– Island of Niue: Mark and Ahi Cross
– Samoa: Maina Vai
– Whakatane, Aotearoa: James McCarthy
– Haumoana, Aotearoa: Ricks Terstappen, Dianne Reefman, Nigel Loughnan
– Taranaki, Aotearoa: Pasha Clothier
– Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa: Phil Dadson

Commissioned by TeTuhi and curated by Janine Randerson. Supported by Creative New Zealand and Te Ipukarea Society, Cook Islands. Special thanks to John Cousins for sharing aeolian insights.

Visit the project on the Te Tuhi's website here.

Part of the weather station: Te Moana Nui A Kiwa, Aoteroa New Zealand - find out more here

Niue windharp : Mark & Ahi Cross
Whakatane harp : James McCarthy
Harp setup, Samoa : Maina Vai & family
Harp / Karekare beach. Tamaki/Auckland : Phil Dadson
Haumoana beach site : Nigel Loughman
Harp / Parihaka, Taranaki : Pasha Clothier
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