Hoki Mai ki Ahau (Return to Me) creates an oasis of digital calm and a healing soundscape in the heart of Tāmaki Makaurau.
Fusing taonga pūoro (traditional Māori musical instruments) with interactive digital media, this work gently comes to life through the movement of audiences and passers-by. As people approach the screen, they trigger the ebb and flow of taonga pūoro, while meditative footage of Aotearoa reinforce the spiritual connection of the instruments to the natural world.
Hoki Mai ki Ahau (Return to Me) artists, Jeff Nusz and Jerome Kavanagh, started to develop this work during the 2020 Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.
“During the pandemic, among the anxiety and uncertainty it has brought, Jerome and I (and many others I'm sure) have found a great deal of solace spending time in nature. Watching a running stream, sitting by the rolling sea, walking a muddy path under a canopy of leaves - these can be a grounding and restorative experience. When we talked, Jerome spoke about how the music of the taonga pūoro can act as a sort of conduit, reconnecting people to nature and natural forces. The slow motion of the lockdown period also felt like a return to a calmer, more humane pace of life. All these things were in our minds as we made this work. The title also reminds us of a sort of prayer, hoping for the safe return of loved ones separated or suffering during the pandemic.” - Jeff Nusz
Commissioned by Auckland Live with support from Creative New Zealand