Footprints 2

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

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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

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Vernacular as practical manifesto

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

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New Zealand Music Studies: Some thoughts on work to be done

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 (Note: Some facts and figures quoted in this paper have since been superseded.)
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Finding language

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

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NZ music books of 2016

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

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Lost Nock

Working with the music collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library, it’s often hard not to feel lost in time. The 10,000s of recordings held in the archive — including both commercial releases and unpublished recordings — date back a century or more, and it would take literally years to listen to them all. Continue reading

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The last year has been extremely busy for moi, largely the result of taking up the position of the Alexander Turnbull Library’s Music Curator and also publishing The Heading Dog Who Split in Half. Exciting undoubtedly, but there’s also been little time left for off-duty notunlikeatrumpet research and writing. So here are some recent bits of writing published elsewhere that might be of interest, along with a couple of radio interviews. Continue reading

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NZ music theses of 2015

Last year saw postgraduate research into New Zealand music progress steadily. According to my searches of local university library catalogues, at least six doctoral and masters theses were completed in 2015. This number doubles my previous estimate of 2014 completions, although I have since discovered that another 2014 thesis slipped through my net. Continue reading

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Arapuni, Arapuni

Next time you drive past the Arapuni Power Station on the Waikato River, spare a thought for the workers who constructed New Zealand’s first government-built hydroelectric scheme. Starting in 1924, the scheme took five years to complete then several more to correct some serious engineering issues. It is now the country’s oldest generating facility.

A community grew up at Arapuni to construct and service the power station and, as with many such small townships of the day, music-making was an integral part of social life. This included Continue reading

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