Composer, practitioner and cross genre collaborator, HoromonaHoro has fused the traditional instruments of the Maori, taongapuoro (singing treasures), within a diverse range of cultural and musical forms.
Mentored by tohunga of taongapuoro, the late Dr Hirini Melbourne and Dr Richard Nunns, in 2001, Horo won the inaugural Dynasty Heritage Concerto Competition and in the intervening years has become the international Maori face of TaongaPuoro. Performances including orchestral work with the WeimarerStaatskapelle Orchestra, hip-hop with PaoPaoPao, Opera in the Park, guest artist at the 90th Commemorations of the Battle of Passchendaele, and international tours with Moana and the Tribe, Canti Maori, Irish collaboration – Green Fire Islands and the Voices NZ Choir have enabled Horomona to extend his knowledge and skills across diverse genres whilst remaining a cultural and musical educator in his own right. In 2013 his group WAIORA was selected as the first New Zealand showcase at WOMEX in over a decade, completed two European tours and performed as part of a star studded line-up at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Horo continues to immerse himself in the unique sounds, techniques and intrinsic significance and practises of taongapuoro. Not only of musical significance, the instruments are part of the holistic culture of all life, birth, death and nature, to which he was born. Each instrument has a specific use within rites of passage, storytelling and daily life of the Maori peoples. This daily life-breathing of the instruments is the distinguishing mark of his work and recent compositions and collaborations with Nga Tae, the NZTrio, UK Composer Paul Lewis and Italian Flautist, Luca Manghi, bear witness to this fact in a strong, audible manner, combined with a sound knowledge of contemporary musical techniques.
As an extension of cultural emersion, Horo works as an educator with the New Zealand Medical Board in traditional practices and the New Zealand Music Commission in high school education including Maori music, dance and aspects of daily culture. He was the first student to be enrolled in the Master of Music programme developed at the Conservatory at the University of Waikato to include the study of traditional Maori instrument practise. In 2010 he was hailed inMana Magazine as “the master of his generation”, a fact recently attested to by noted NZ composer, Dame Gillian Whitehead.
Horomona is of NgaPuhi, Taranaki and Ngati Porou