UCCS Music Program

Wai - Maori Music, Dance, and Culture

Wai - Maori Music, Dance, and Culture

September 28, 2018 | 7:30 PM

Chapman Foundations Recital Hall

A music, dance, lecture event featuring student workshop participants from the UCCS Visual and Performing Arts Department, Colorado Springs Youth Symphony, Colorado Springs Conservatory, Ormao Dance Co. The New Zealand/Aotearoa Māori Electronica roots group WAI are Mina Ripia, Tuari Dawson, Uta Te Whanga and Maaka Phat. They have created an original contemporary style of music by fusing current sounds and technology with traditional Māori music forms - ominous grooves laid down by lopsided programmed beats made from traditional Māori poi percussion, body slaps and natural noises with Polynesian-related chants and harmonies. The musical background for melodies are based on traditional haka (dance) and waiata tawhito (ancient songs). There is little to latch onto other than voices and rhythms; the feeling is of being drawn into something ancient and deep. WAI make full and inventive use of the latest technology; this is no historic re-creation. The result is a sound that’s as soulful and funky as any modern R&B, while sounding not remotely like it. There’s a bold sparseness to the sound and a refusal to resort to pop cliches. WAI has been lauded by music critics across the world as unique, innovative and challenging. WAI is the Māori word for water, the essence of life.

Made possible by the UCCS President’s Fund for Humanities; UCCS Global Intercultural Research Center; the UCCS Department of Visual and Performing Arts; and the UCCS College of Letters, Arts & Sciences. Free and open to the public.