Close Encounters/ Aroha Ahava

From Leigh Sawmill Cafe to Titirangi’s Te Uru Waitakere Gallery and the Pah Homestead in Hillsborough, Close Encounters will wow those seeking the unexpected at Auckland Arts Festival 2015.

Taking inspiration from the Old Testament’s The Book of the Songs of Solomon, the love of land, whenua and family, composer Jonathan Besser and singer Mere Boynton create an evocative taniko/tapestry made up of dark texts and earthy rich melodies.  Set against a backdrop of Titirangi’s majestic kauri bush, Aroha/Ahava Songs will ring out, clear and true, in English, Maori and Hebrew. 

Born in New York City and based in New Zealand since the 1970s, Jonathan Besser is a founding member of early electronic group Free Radicals. He has composed for opera, ballet, theatre and ensemble.  His award winning screen compositions include War Stories, and A Cat Among the Pigeons. 

Mere Boynton is ofTe Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngati Oneone and Tuhoe descent.  Formally trained in voice, her singing style draws on both her classical training and taha Maori. She has performed in Gareth Farr’s Te Papa, toured in the dance opera Jerusalem by Michael Parmenter, and featured in Te Tangata Whairawa o Weneti (The Maori Merchant of Venice). She has performed internationally with acclaimed director Lemi Ponifasio and visual theatre company MAU, and will appear in Auckland Arts Festival 2015’s co-production of MAU’s newest work, I AM.

Jonathan and Mere will be joined by fellow performers Charmian Keay, Iselta Allison, Maree Thom, John Bell and Chris O’Connor as they mingle with audiences after the event. In addition, concert goers are being offered a guided tour of the three Festival exhibitions at Te Uru.

8 March – 15 March 2015
Leigh Sawmill Cafe
Te Uru Waitakere Gallery
Pah Homestead

For More Information CLICK:AucklandArtsFestival