Violinist Benjamin Baker, violist Matthew Lipman and cellist Alexander Hersh perform Mata-Au by New Zealand composer Salina Fisher. The video recording was made in partnership with Guarneri Hall in Chicago and Mike Grittani.
’Mata-Au, the Māori name of the Clutha River, means ”surface current”,’ says Fisher. ’In Japanese, the homophonous phrase ‘また逢う’ (mata-au) means ”to meet again”. The water dances and swirls as it connects places and people. It flows and gushes with forward momentum and anticipation. In writing this piece I was also inspired by ‘spring’, both as the season of its premiere, and as a bubbling source of water.’
Mata-Au was commissioned for the inaugural At the World’s Edge Festival (AWE) in 2021, where Fisher was composer in residence. It was premiered at Rippon Hall, Wanaka, New Zealand.
Baker is the artistic director of AWE, which will run its second edition from 8 to 21 October 2022. Offering a festival of chamber music in the heart of the Southern Alps, the 2022 will explore the theme of ’Solitude and Togetherness’.
’The concept of ”Solitude” inspires many different feelings and definitions, depending on your perspective,’ writes Baker. ’Almost certainly, it is something most of us will have experienced over the past two challenging years with Covid-19.
’While loneliness may be the first facet of solitude that comes to mind, our programme also examines some of the other aspects: what solitude can provoke and inspire in each of us, how solitude develops relationships between individuals, and the power of communication that can lead to us feeling connected, or apart from, one another.’
AWE has assigned waypoints and key ideas to each concert programme, which will act as guides to help audience members explore the different emotions woven into the musical works on offer.
In addition to Baker, other artists featuring in the festival include festival director and violinist Justine Cormack, violinists Wilma Smith and Marike Kruup, violists Amanda Verner and Robert Ashworth, cellists Maciej Kułakowski and Ken Ichinose, pianist Sarah Watkins, baritone Julien Van Mellaerts and composer in residence Gareth Farr. The festival will also include free events, such as community workshops, open rehearsals, interactive workshops and visual art shows.
For more information about At the World’s Edge Festival, click here.