Hau: a form of bistability (2013)

Stereo fixed audio

The speakers/headphones should take sounds at 50hz. This work uses very quiet sounds and the low frequency content often makes things rattle: headphones could be the only solution to listen to this music in a normal listening environment.

Part 1 - Establishment (18.21)

Part 2 - The giver and the receiver (5.32)


  • 10-Dec-2014 - Acousmatic for the People, Inter Arts Center, Malmö, Sweden.
  • 24-Apr-2015 - Intonal Festival, Inter Arts Center, Malmö, Sweden.
  • 25-Jun-2015 - Sincronie, Spazio O', Milan, Italy.
  • 7-Jan-2017 - San Francisco Tape Music Festival, Victoria Theatre, San Francisco, USA.


  • Out of 200 submissions for Acousmatic for the People, this work was the only one selected to be re-performed shorlty after at the Intonal Festival.
  • Among the winners of the Headscape Competition of Sincronie dedicated to music for headphones.

I shall tell you about hau. Hau is not the wind. Not at all. Suppose you have some particular object (taonga) and you give it to me; you give it to me without a price. We do not bargain over it. Now I give this thing to a third person who after a time decides to give me something in repayment for it (utu), and he makes me a present of something (taonga). Now this taonga I received from him is the spirit (hau) of the taonga I received from you and which I passed on to him. The taonga which I receive on account of the taonga that came from you, I must return to you. It would not be right on my part to keep these taonga whether they were desirable or not. I must give them to you since they are the hau of the taonga which you gave me. If I were to keep this second taonga for myself I might become ill or even die. Such is hau, the hau of personal property, the hau of the taonga, the hau of the forest. Enough on that subject.

Tamati Ranaipiri (Reported by Elsdon Best)