Work: Karaka mai, Ōtautahi!
Bio: Ariana Tikao (Kāi Tahu) has been playing her own distinctive music since 1993 where she started in Christchurch with the folk group, Pounamu. In the early 2000s she started her solo music career and released her debut album Whaea in 2002. She has since released two other solo albums Tuia and From Dust to Light collaborated on various other recording and performance projects.
In 1996, when Ariana was completing a post-graduate diploma in Museum Studies, she began studying the history of taonga puoro (Māori instruments). She was interested in their revival alongside the decolonisation movement in Aotearoa. She has since worked with Dr Richard Nunns in both live settings and recording, and began playing her own taonga puoro after meeting Brian Flintoff eight years ago.
Ariana has been involved in several wānaka in the South Island and in Wellington (where she is now based). Earlier this year, she was a soloist for both the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. The CSO performance was for a premiere of Ko te tātai whetū, that Ariana co-composed with Philip Brownlee. This piece was based on a South Island mōteatea (traditional chant). Her work for Audacious, like all of her work, is inspired by the stories and environment of Te Wai Pounamu.