Featured WorkChafing of the Stump


Dancer Lyne Pringle, appropriately attired in cheesecloth, hangs out with fresh meat, pig's heads, meat cleavers and sausages in Helen and David Bowater's Chafing of the Stump: a multimedia work that delves into the bestial nature of humans and questions our commodification of animals. An electroacoustic sound track against live cello and saxophone performances are enlivened with theatre and dance. This work featured at—and was commissioned for—the 1987 Sonic Circus in Wellington's Michael Fowler Centre.

Electroacoustic Fragment sound

Helen Bowater began her composing career in 1985 with Raindance, a work in which she sang as soprano accompanied by two clarinets, piano, drum and bullroarer. Since then she has held various composer residencies including the Nelson School of Music (1992), Otago University Mozart Fellow (1993), the Auckland Philharmonia Composer in Residence (1994), the Jack C. Richards/Creative New Zealand Composer Residency—New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington (2008-2009) and the University of Otago Wallace Residency at the Auckland Pah Homestead (2016). She has been performed and broadcast extensively in New Zealand and internationally; has featured in concerts and compilations of New Zealand music and represented New Zealand in festivals abroad.