The Pioneers is the first piece in a new trilogy of work by three expat New Zealanders, now living and working as professional musicians in the UK and Ireland. It tells the story of the people who chose to leave Victorian England and Ireland to settle in the wilderness that would have been the New Zealand of 150 years ago: why they left; how they endured a gruelling four months at sea to get to the other side of the world; the life they were promised - and the life they actually encountered.
With three voices, two guitars and one double bass these highly accomplished musicians evoke the poignancy of each stage of the journey their ancestors would have made, playing their own acoustic compositions to texts based on works by famous New Zealand poets and stories which have travelled down through generations of their own families.
The trio perform to a back drop of stunning New Zealand scenery - images created by award winning UK photographer Barry Lewis, mixed in with digitally reproduced archival images of Magic Lantern Slide from the UK's centre for New Zealand Studies archive.
The Pioneers has not only been described as a mesmerising and moving musical performance but a show which reminds its audience of the personal challenges of immigration faced by both native and newcomer.
Written and performed by:
David Leahy - double bass/voice
Angeline Conaghan - guitar/voice
Ben Brewer - guitar/voice
Related website: www.myspace.com/3pioneers