AONUA is a New Zealand musical group. Their music is a combination of Polynesian instruments, Māori vocals, native wildlife and natural sounds blended with contemporary instrumentation. The lyrics are a combination of the Māori language and English.
The group was formed in 2007 and released their self-titled debut album Aonua in June 2008. The name AONUA is derived from the Māori words ao meaning cloud and whenua meaning the earth.
Taisha was chosen to perform Karanga from AONUA for the opening of the 2007 World Netball Championships, The Halberg awards (New Zealand Sports Person Of The Year), Style Pasifika Fashion Show and New Zealand Fashion Week. A karanga is a traditional Māori welcome or 'calling' of visitors to the marae or Maori meeting house.
Traditional instruments used include the Maori flutes Koauau and Putorino, as well as the Pacific Log drum or Pate.
New Zealand native birds heard on the album include the Kokako, Tui, Korimako (New Zealand Bellbird), Shining Bronze Cuckoo, Grey Warbler and Morepork.
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The group is composed of vocalist Taisha and composer/producer Malcolm Smith.
Taisha is Māori with her ancestry from the Nga Puhi tribe.
Malcolm Smith has extensive composing and production experience, including co-writing and producing all the albums for the Pacific world music group Te Vaka.