A percentage of proceeds from a special concert near Arrowtown next month will go to a trust focused on returning the sound of native birdsong to the forests and beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park.
The Nikau Harp Trio comprises members of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra — violinist Cathy Irons, a frequent visitor to the resort, harpist Helen Webby and cellist Paul Lee.
Webby and Irons toured the South Island as a duo last year, inviting Lee to join them this year to create the Nikau trio, which has been invited on the nationwide Arts on Tour NZ next February.
Named after the carved palm on Webby’s harp, with its golden huia on the sound board, Nikau brings to life the world of harp with strings.
Irons says the music composed for the harp, violin and cello is ‘‘extraordinary and beautiful’’.
‘‘It’s a blending together of two sound worlds … a bit like a cascading waterfall, where the sounds swirl and flow together to create different moods and colours.’’
Supported by Creative Communities, Nikau will perform a wide range of music, including a Bach baroque trio, Handel-Halvorsen’s Passacaglia, their own arrangement of Debussy’s Claire de Lune, and a pulsating tango of Piazzolla’s Argentina via the hypnotic haze of Irons’ Dreamland.
Nature features strongly in the ensemble’s ethos, hence their decision to donate money from their concerts to the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust.
The trio’s also bringing another small harp for kids to try out after the performance.
The concert’s being held on October 9 at the Thomas Brown Gallery. Tickets, $35, via Eventfinda, or at Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum.