Whakatipua for string quartet was commissioned by the artist Morgan Jones as a surprise present for his wife, Pat Jones, who was turning 60. The piece was first played at their wonderful home near Queenstown, on the occasion of Pat's birthday. It was written for a quartet then resident at the University of Otago Music Department, consisting of Donald Maurice, Rebecca Maurice, Rupa Maitra and Euan Murdoch.
The piece is in a single movement. Slower sections at the beginning and end surround a main quick section. The piece evokes the mountain landscape around Queenstown, and also Morgan and Pat's place, which is called 'Whakatipua'. There are elements of folk music in the piece which is characterised by open-sounding sonorities, and it pays a quiet tribute to the music of Lilburn as well. It was written to be not overly taxing to perform, technically.
Whakatipua has been performed fairly frequently and was also re-arranged in a version for string orchestra, for The Auckland Chamber Orchestra.
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