5 Stars – Songlines Magazine UK
Tararua were nominated in the Best Group category for their 2021 release ‘Bird Like Men’. Tararua is an art music quartet based in Wellington, Aotearoa, with members, Al Fraser (taonga puoro), Ariana Tikao (taonga puoro & vocals), Ruby Solly (taonga puoro, vocals & cello), and Phil Boniface (double bass & taonga puoro).
‘Tararua’ (meaning ‘two peaks’), connects whakapapa, from mountains in both North and South Islands, this contemporary New Zealand art music weaves the voices of Aoraki, the tūrakawaewae of Ruby Solly and Ariana Tikao, winding through Te Waipounamu-raised, Wellington based artist Al Fraser, and merging into Phil Boniface’s birthplace and connection with the Tararua ranges.
Their evocative music combines taonga pūoro, waiata, karakia and pūrākau (story) with a strong southern Māori influence, with the western instrumental elements of the cello and doublebass.
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