13 Nov 2015

CHRIS ADAMS: Fonterra's Mad(rigal)

From Resound, 7:03 pm on 13 November 2015
Chris Adams

Chris Adams Photo: Gareth Watkins / Lilburn Trust / Wallace Arts Trust

Chris Adams (1979-) is the Head of Music at King’s College, Auckland. He was the Mozart Fellow (2010-2011) at the University of Otago and the Auckland Philharmonia’s Composer in Residence (2009). Chris has had works commissioned, performed and read by a wide variety of groups including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, NZTrio, Auckland Philharmonia, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Jade String Quartet, and Southern Sinfonia. His works have been performed around New Zealand and in Australia, Italy, and Britain, including at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

“[a] recent NIWA investigation…found that 90% of the lowland streams in New Zealand are polluted,…many dangerous for swimming… Most streams and rivers on the east coast of the South Island have been seriously dewatered by irrigation…[with] countless other rivers…threatened by water draw-off and agricultural pollution.” John Kent, letter to Editor, The Press, Jan 25th, 2006.

About Fonterra's Mad(rigal) Chris says: "With (special) thanks to all those in the Canterbury Region who run or own high-intensity Dairy Farms or use other wasteful water practices and those who are directly responsible for safeguarding the environment (WRT, ECAN) but then have only their personal best interests at heart."

This piece takes the juxtaposition of the two images above as a starting point; the first nostalgically referring to the traditional golden age when shepherds symbolised balance and harmony between people and the land, and the other current and bleaker image where unsustainable farming practices and over-extraction of water from our rivers has had a considerable negative impact.