24 Nov 2017

ROD BISS: Four New Zealand Bird Songs (introduction)

From Resound, 9:01 pm on 24 November 2017

Introduced by Kenneth Young.

Kenneth Young

Kenneth Young Photo: Deborah Rawson

It was an environmental concern that determined Rod Biss's Four New Zealand Bird Songs.

Tara-iti (New Zealand’s Fairy Tern) is one of New Zealand’s most endangered bird species. It nests mainly on Te Arai Beach, north of Auckland. When Biss learnt of the imminent development of land there by a wealthy American (think golf course and dozens of expensive houses) he contacted an old friend, the poet Denys Trussell, also an environmentalist and musician. Together they produced this wonderful set of four songs.

The second song concerns the Tara-iti. The poem this one is based on, tells of the simple beauty and vulnerability of the Fairy Tern.

Tara-iti

On tidal banks at Kaipara

Its eggs lie, naked as chance

Among crustacean’s emptied shells

Tara- iti, stay with us

Listen to Four New Zealand Bird Songs by Rod Biss

Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes