Composer Dorothy Ker writes,
"Onaia Stream passes through a narrow gully, where it is possible to wade barefoot through the shallow waters, going deeper and deeper into the high banks and ancient foliage, for several hours. Onaia is not a depiction of that place (nor a journey through it) but a translation of its energies. The sounds are not from there but make a visceral connection to it, playing with patterns and resonances, and with various qualities of surface and touch. The piece falls in pitch from extreme height to the deepest available pitch, a musical journey that might be understood as the unraveling of a single stratified spectrum of texture and resonance."
There are some unusual sound-making techniques from the players in this piece including: bow-tips dragged across the ground, strumming the strings with guitar picks, brushing the strings with a silk scarf, dragging a chain across the piano, and dropping a set of chimes onto the piano strings.
Performed by NZTrio at their concert, 'Soar', in the Loft at Q Theatre, Auckland, 14 November 2017.
Dorothy Ker is a New Zealand composer currently teaching at the University of Sheffield in the UK.
Onaia Stream is just north of Lake Rotorua: