Kia tūhono i te taiao e ngā toi anō : re-connecting with the natural world via experiential multi-disciplinary assemblages : an exegesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
This exegesis looks to support an inspired line of critical inquiry and music praxis through an indigenous lens. This is to enable and reaffirm holistic re-connecting to the natural world via multi-media assemblage centralising music composition, geo-placement, indigenous protocols and narratives. I acknowledge the privilege of being offered this opportunity to explore, compose and assemble. I use this opportunity to recognise and redress my own disconnection from Te Taiao (the natural environment) and exploit this transformative opportunity to innovate artistically and holistically. As the Post-COVID, un-settled hue continues to hover over us daily, I am compelled to be ever more mindful and present; mindful of environment, tohu (signs), breath, people, movements and moments in my day. I also take this opportunity to challenge New Zealand education music pedagogies. Currently, the most favoured instruction in New Zealand is by learning to read and comprehend western music theory. My intent here does not aim to disparage western music theory, but to augment and supplement the potentials of current western music pedagogies by acknowledging and activating iwi taketake composition techniques and encouraging a "cultural resetting" with our natural environment. I suggest that investigation and application of indigenous knowledge systems (including connection to the natural world) in music praxis, and considerations in general, could encourage holistic benefits of associative, cognitive potentials within New Zealand's modernity. And as the original muse for ancient humanity, the answers can surely be found in nature - we just need to listen.