Alistair’s contact email: taongapuoro@gmail.com

Alistair is a widely respected player, composer, and researcher of ngā taonga puoro with a performance background that enables him to provide a sensitivity that suits the intimate nature of these remarkable instruments.

Orokonui Nunns Fraser Free
Al Fraser, Matua Richard Nunns and Paddy Free

Alistair Fraser has been researching, making, performing and composing with ngā taonga pūoro since 1999 and in his time has worked in a diverse range of art forms with Aotearoa’s top arts practitioners.

Te Whare Tapere Karetao Pūoro performance with Horomona Horo, James Webster, Jerome Mako, Aroha Yates-Smith and Al Fraser

In 2017 Alistair begins his three year position as a researcher for Otago University looking at Moriori and Māori taonga pūoro from Rekohu/Chatham Islands. Also in 2017 Alistair was a kaiako (tutor) at a series of wānanga ‘run by Horomono Horo, ‘Toku Reo, Toku Ohooho’ that focused on composing with and playing ngā taonga pūoro.

In 2016 Alistair performed with Patricia Grace and Aroha String Quartet for Chamber Music New Zealand’s 2016 Matariki Celebrations Te Marama, which featured his joint composition with Warren Warbrick for taonga pūoro, Te Marama. Alistair performed solo at CubaDupa, Coastella Music Festival, Dowse Art Gallery, and Opihi Taniwha Rock Art site for Ngai Tahu’s Te Ana Rock Art Museum Waitangi Day festivities.

Other recent performances of note are Te Motutapu (February 2015) a dance choreographed by Louise Potiki-Bryant, Museums After Dark at Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (May 2015) and a season of This Other Eden (October 2014) an opera by Anthony Ritchie to which Fraser contributed ngā taonga pūoro parts.

In December 2014 Alistair toured with Ngai Tahu songstress Ariana Tikao and Richard Nunns.

In 2016 Alistair composed a work for taonga puoro and electronica Wai=Rua for the dance/theatre work Wai=Rua A Line=Near by Marty Roberts and Rua McCallum.

Alistair performed and composed works with Jeremy Mayall during Mayall’s time as Mozart Fellow at Otago University (2014-2015) producing four co-composed works by Mayall and Fraser, Along the River Run, He Korokoro Tui, Otakou Lullaby and Still.

In 2014 Alistair was commissioned by Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision to compose a twelve-minute work to accompany a showing of archival footage of traditional food gathering that toured South Island marae as Te Waipounamu Marae Film Tour: Otautaki Ki Awarua. Also in 2014, Fraser composed a work for ngā taonga pūoro and vocal for Te Papa Tongarewa and Ngati Toa Rangatira’s current exhibit at Te Papa Tongarewa Whiti Te Rā! This work was performed by Tāmihana Katene (taonga pūoro) and Wairere Ropata (vocal), both from Ngati Toa.

In 2013 Richard Nunns, Paddy Free and Alistair Fraser co-composed a 23-minute work for taonga pūoro and electronica for Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

Alistair contributed taonga pūoro peformances with ensemble ‘Reo’ (Horomono Horo, James Webster, Charles Royal and Paddy Free) and arrangements at all of Charles Royal’s Te Whare Tāpere ki Waimango 2010-2014.

Alistair was a 2016 Churchill Fellow. He traveled to the U.K. and Ireland to research collections of taonga pūoro held in eleven museums there. This follows on from his work in 2015 researching collections from four museums in the U.K. He recorded the collection of ngā taonga pūoro at Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology with an album of improvisations played with this collection released in June 2016. In 2015 Alistair released an album of recordings made at Okains Bay Māori and Colonial Museum using their collection of ngā taonga pūoro.

Alistair was a CNZ/DoC Wild Creations Artist in Residence 2011 on Rakiura/Stewart Island where he spent six weeks researching southern style taoka pūoro. He composed and recorded an album of music, Rakiura using the instruments that were researched and constructed during his stay.

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