In this excerpt from Māori youth series Mai Time, reporter Quinton Hita meets composer Hirini Melbourne, an expert in taonga pūoro (traditional Māori instruments). Melbourne plays one of his te reo Māori nursery rhymes, inspired by the sounds of Wellington, like the clatter of trains. Hita asks about taonga pūoro, and the composer describes his desire to release the instruments from museums and hear their music. Melbourne demonstrates the way his breath 'joins' with a pūtōrino (traditional flute) to create its special sound. They end the chat with a 'how to', using karamū leaves to make homemade flutes.
Many of them lie mute, silent in museums. But since we've heard them they speak to me in ways that no other music can.– Composer Hirini Melbourne on his attraction to taonga pūoro (traditional Māori instruments)