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Music and the Spheres: Sounds for Earth and Stars

This intimate concert is backdropped by the majestic work of William Robinson, with performances by multi-instrumentalist and singer Whaia, live immersive soundscapes with composer-sound artist Dr Corrina Bonshek, and sound production support from Aaron Mason.

Whaia and Bonshek will present Improvisation in response to Robinson’s Creation Series, and Song to the Ocean (excerpt) by Dr Corrina Bonshek with Maori chants and improvised music by Whaia, who plays Te Wai Tangi/The Waters Wail, a Tohora Niho/Whale’s Tooth flute.

Improvised in response to Robinson’s Creation Series, Whaia and Bonshek translate the elemental forms depicted by Robinson’s stunning paintings into an expansive soundscape of processed nature sounds and live frequencies emerging from bone, wood, clay, breath, and water.

Song to the Ocean (excerpt) composed by Dr Corrina Bonshek is an ode to the power and majesty of the ocean, and the biodiverse life it supports. This performance will feature live Maori chant and original Tahora Niho music by Whaia alongside a soundscape version of Bonshek’s music for gong orchestra, recorded at Phoenix Central Park with Michael Askill as lead musician performing on his extensive collection of SE Asian, Wind & Chao gongs.

Presented by HOTA, Home of the Arts

About the artists 

WHAIA, Maori Sonic Weaver

New Zealand born, Ngati Kahungunu woman Whaia is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, designer, creative cultural producer and facilitator. Raised in the outback desert of Western Australia, her Maori roots, the land and her Aboriginal Grandmother of the Yindjibarndi people have shaped her story from age six.

Walking with an array of Taonga Puoro/Traditional First Nations instruments made of wood, bone, clay and stone, harmonising with crystal singing bowls, Whaia weaves her unique cradle of embedded healing phonics performing throughout festivals, gatherings and retreats across Australia. She has sung with Aboriginal Elders, Hawaiian Queens and Native American Indian song people professionally and in ceremony for the past two decades Whaia brings a living embodiment to her works.

As a mother and whale dreaming water woman, Whaia’s passion is to inspire and educate women through their rights of passage. ‘Kurawaka’ resides in her whakapapa/lineage and on her motherland NZ, building the bridge of wisdom she brings workshops and retreats to Kurawaka Australia here on the Gold Coast, ‘Empowering Women Through Culture & The Arts’.

Celebrating her debut album WHAIA & WATER in 2020 with a depth of ochre in her skin and mana in her bones, she is a true warrior woman with a soft yet powerful delivery, entwining heart, body and spirit.

Dr Corrina Bonshek

Dr Corrina Bonshek (PhD – University of Western Sydney) is an Australian composer whose music has been described as ‘beautifully shaped and contemplative’ (Clare MacClean, 2013) and ‘connecting to the essence of SE Asian music – timelessness’ (Chinary Ung, 2015). Her practice is diverse from concert music to music-art events, to collaborations with traditional instrumentalists from Asia. Corrina was resident composer at the 2015 Experimental Thai Music Laboratory of Burapha University in Thailand, inaugural visiting scholar of 2016 Nirmita Institute for Young Composers in Cambodia and composed music for Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra for 2017 Taipei International Arts Festival. Her reworking of her solo Pipa piece Desert Time for American ensemble All of the Above was a finalist in 2018 Australian Art Music Awards – Instrumental Work of the Year category. Her 90-minute orchestral installation Song to the Earth has been adapted & performed in several festival contexts since its co-commission by Bleach Festival & Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Arts & Culture Festival in 2018.

Aaron Mason

Aaron Mason is a freelance sound engineer residing on the Gold Coast who is passionate about music and sound in all its forms. His experience includes live mixing for Love in the Circus 2008-20011 (USA, Bali, Australia), recording engineer for American Blues musician Alex Dixon’s The Vintage Room (2008) & The Real McCoy (2020). Mason worked in mixing, ADR, voice-overs and music supervision for documentaries, TV & Film, Radio & commercials at Bell Sound, Hollywood between 2000 and 2012. His production credits include Bafta Award-winning Embarrassing Bodies and 3D feature film Call of the Wind (2009) starring Christopher Lloyd.

Eat & Drink

Why not make a night of it? Dine prior to the performance in Palette or The Exhibitionist Bar. Add our Lyrical Landscape 5 course degustation with wine pairings to your evening.

Book NowPalette Restaurant Website


Song to the Ocean was co-commissioned by Fraser Coast Tourism & Events and Fraser Coast Regional Council, with assistance of the Australian Government through the Festivals Australia program and the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF), a partnership between the Queensland Government and Fraser Coast Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

It is an adaptation of Song to the Earth which was co-commissioned by City of Gold Coast, Bleach*Festival and the Queensland Government through the Regional Arts Development Fund and the Office of the Commonwealth Games and other funding sources and premiered at Bleach* at Festival 2018.

The gong recording used in this presentation was made at and supported by Phoenix Central Park, Sydney

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