Kia oraWelcome to the website/blog of Dr. Michael Brown, a music researcher and writer based in Wellington, New Zealand.
Whether or not the trains run on time is hardly the most important issue around at the moment. But before the Covid-19 crisis really hit in New Zealand, it was something on my mind and so I sought some information about my local services. As it happens, what I discovered does have some topical relevance in a time when so many decisions hang off the gathering and analysis of data around infections, testing and contact tracing. Continue reading
About a month ago I was interviewed by Claire Crofton for a BBC Radio 4 documentary, The Day of Two Suns, concerning anti-nuclear song and poetry in the Pacific. It is now available to listen to. Continue reading
Things could now look so different.
Back in 2007 the New Zealand Government – through the Ministry for the Environment – began to create the blueprint for a carbon neutral public service. As described in my previous blog post, the idea was to make five core agencies carbon neutral by 2012, with the rest well along the road to carbon neutrality by this time. It was a great idea. Continue reading
Finally, it seems as if New Zealand might be waking up.
On September 27, an estimated 170,000 people took to the streets around the country on rallies in support the School Strike 4 Climate. As was pointed out in the media, this turnout comprises 3.5% of the country’s population, quite a stunning outcome. Continue reading
Time comes around. It’s been seven years since I completed my doctoral thesis and recently I’ve been reflecting on my motivations in choosing the topic: “the vernacular in New Zealand music”. In this post I discuss one of these motives, which also lies behind some recent research I’ve been conducting into local responses to human-induced global warming. Continue reading
This post gives the text of my introduction and contribution to panel discussion entitled ‘New Zealand Music Studies: Some thoughts on work to be done’ at the New Zealand Musicological Society‘s 2016 annual conference, held 19-20 November at Waikato University in Hamilton. My two co-presenters were Glenda Keam and Norman Meehan. (Note: Some facts and figures quoted in this paper have since been superseded.)
Apologies, it’s been another long gap between posts. But things have been productive in the meantime in other ways. One project that has just come to fruition is a new book: the edited volume Finding Language: The Massey Composer Addresses, published by Victoria University Press, and out in the shops now. Continue reading
It’s been another great year for New Zealand music books, with at least eight new tomes published over the last twelve months. This total roughly matches the averages for the last few years (see 2013 and 2014), while being somewhat down on 2015’s bumper crop.
Popular music was the major theme of 2016 publications. Continue reading