May 2011


posterAre you passionate about writing? Always wanted to be published? Then Re-Draft is the competition for you!

This annual event for New Zealand’s teenage writers is organised by Dr Glyn Strange , director of the School for Young Writers, and judged by Tessa Duder and James Norcliffe.  You can submit poetry, stories, scripts or songs which are then judged.  Each entrant can submit up to three pieces of work. Successful writers will then be published in Re-Draft.

Here’s an excerpt  from a  poem written by Emily Adlam in last year’s edition of Re-Draft, The world’s steepest street:

It was not the same
Where are they, all my lost places?
I went back, but found only emptiness.
The smell was of cinnamon traces
instead of burnt varnish; the air
touched differently, as if it had learnt tenderness
for someone else.
The past was not on display in glass cases.
Maps and addresses are no use to me
and there is no convenient office
where I may reclaim my property.

Moving, moody, funny clever – there certainly is an abundance of talent out there.  Get your hands on a copy of ‘The world’s Steepest Street’, read it and re-read it, then write you own literary masterpiece!

Entry forms  can only be found in the back of the book  (which you can photocopy at your local library) or buy a copy through the School for Young Writers . Entries close 30 September 2011.

Douglas Lilburn (1915-2001) is considered ‘the father of New Zealand music’. In 1965 he created his first major electronic work in the studios of Radio NZ, our musical landscape was changed forever. Lilburn never looked back, and continued to work exclusively in electronic music (including founding Victoria University’s electronic music studio in 1970), until his death in 2001.

In Douglas Lilburn – Complete Electro Acoustic Works,  some works are purely electronic; others were inspired by the natural sounds of the sea or bush, or the writings of leading New Zealand writers such as Allen Curnow, Denis Glover and Alistair Campbell.

All the pioneering work that influenced later composers like Jack Body, John Rimmer and Phil Dadson is here: found sounds, sampling, spoken word, birdsong, self-generated sounds (banging on cans, for example) and so on.

So too are the exploratory techniques: splicing, filtering, and soundscaping using entirely synthetic materials. His first major electronic work, The Return, is here. It also includes ‘Five Toronto Pieces’, which features  a setting of Denis Glover’s Sings Harry – probably the first New Zealand electronic composition.

This album (and over 52,000 more) is available online for free from anywhere with your library card number and PIN.

For New Zealand Music Month we are featuring a daily dose of free online New Zealand music from Naxos Music Library and the Source.

Denis Glover Denis Glover, Blanche Baughan, A.K. Grant, Elsie Locke. That used to be my route to work.

You might have spotted those names, and others, on plaques about town. They form part of  The Christchurch Writers’ Trail.

Many plaques aren’t accessible at the moment,  but I’d like to think the Christchurch rebuild could enhance and add to the Writers’ Trail. We’ve definitely got more local writers and poets to celebrate.

The winner of Best Māori Album, NZ Music Awards in 2007, Te Whaiao – Te Ku Te Whe Remixed by Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns – Remixed by Various New Zealand Artists features artists Epsilon Blue, Victoria Kelly, Warren Maxwell, Lee Prebble, Farmer Pimp, The Nomad, Unitone Hi Fi, Pitch Black, Sola Rosa, Rhian Sheehan, Salmonella Dub, SJD and Chris Macro taking the original recordings of Te Ku Te Whe (the woven mat of sound) and producing an unique New Zealand recording.

The original Te Ku Te Whe was released in 1993, and was instantly recognised as a landmark in the history of Māori music – bringing the sounds of Nga Taonga (traditional Māori instruments) to the ears of a mainstream audience for the first time. Te Whaiao opens a new window on taonga puoro for a new generation with new voices, new rhythms, created with respect and aroha.

This album (and over 52,000 more) is available online for free from anywhere with your library card number and PIN.

For New Zealand Music Month we are featuring a daily dose of free online New Zealand music from Naxos Music Library and the Source.

Photo of Lyttelton  Library visitThe Displaced Reader has been on holiday – possibly due to having my local library reopening and the lovely autumn gardening weather.  Said weather (and how much longer it might last) finally prompted me to plan a trip through the tunnel to Lyttelton library.

I had visions of a scary trip with trucks and there were a few. Also it is important to note that you can sometimes get held up if a special cargo has to be escorted through the tunnel. But once on the other side the sun was shining and battered Lyttelton was revealed. It was shocking to see the damage and the changed aspect of the main street. On the positive side some shops have reopened, there is rebuilding as well as demolition and a lot more sun shines down the street.

Lyttelton library sits cheerfully pink and bathed in sunshine. Inside it is all bustle as preschool story time is in full voice. The place has a nice relaxed feel and there are quiet corners. The usual excellent choice of stock is on display. It was a library I’d love to visit on a more regular basis. I took a few happy snaps to capture my impressions.

Outside you can’t keep good coffee lovers down and there were five caffeine and food options handy to the library including a stall outside and the funky Loons around the corner. Fish and chips were also a harbourside option. A Saturday trip would give the opportunity to visit Lyttelton Market as well. The port still bustles and the harbour is revealed at every corner. The number 28  bus runs regularly to Lyttelton and also down to the ferries. Pick a nice day and add on a trip to Diamond Harbour. I’d recommend a visit soon.

I’m handing over the Displaced baton to Bronnypop who’s first assignment keeps the harbour theme going - Diamond Harbour library.

WHA by Moana and the Tribe contains ten new songs celebrating love, protesting against free trade, acknowledging the independence struggle of Timor and paying tribute to Maori soldiers buried in foreign lands. Scott Morrison co-wrote most of the songs with Moana, all of which are in Maori. The recording also features two brief archival interludes – recordings made in the Western Desert by B Company of the 28th Maori Battalion and a second on an unidentified marae.

Graham Reid said:

Across her previous three albums Moana Maniapoto confirmed her status as one of New Zealand’s most significant voices whose sound could just as comfortably incorporate politics and culture as seduce with her flowing lyrics in te reo and her astute ear for using the traditional within a contemporary context.

These days Moana and the Tribe are more often taking their music to an international audience (big in Russia, mate) but the soul and spirit which drives and determines the course of this music is always close to home and heart.

Another diverse, informed and quite moving album.

This album (and over 52,000 more) is available online for free from anywhere with your library card number and PIN.

For New Zealand Music Month we are featuring a daily dose of free online New Zealand music from Naxos Music Library and the Source.

A Chaos of Delight by Eve de Castro-Robinson is a collection of solo and chamber works by de Castro-Robinson includes Split the Lark, Small Blue and Tumbling Strains, while performers include Andrew Uren, Dan Poynton and Mark Menzies.

The first in my Chaos of Delight series of pieces based on birdsong, Chaos of Delight I requires the bass clarinettiest to trill, click, screech, book and roll in a virtuosic display of avian sonorities, using the full range of the instrument, from the boom of the kakapo to the shriek of the the morepork and the bleat of the bush falcon. All these can be heard amongst sounds which exploit the unique characteristics of the bass clarinet, such as its uncannily high register, slap tonguing and multiphonics.

The title is taken from a passage in A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand by Falla, Gibson and Turbott: there are still many quiet places far from the madding crowd, where the mind can become, in Darwin’s phrase, ‘a chaos of delight’ at the abundance and variety of birds which pass before the eye or perplex the ear.

This album (and over 52,000 more) is available online for free from anywhere with your library card number and PIN.

For New Zealand Music Month we are featuring a daily dose of free online New Zealand music from Naxos Music Library and the Source.

TEDxEQChChNgāi Tahu’s vision brings together the essence of TEDxEQChCh last Saturday, 21 May 2011. Over 700 people gathered at Burnside to be invigorated by outstanding speakers. Internauts from all over the globe watched the live stream online. Coincidentally, TEDxTokyo was held on the same day.

Decorative rubble, safety hats and high visibility vests were displayed on a stage where Bob Parker restated his intention to make Christchurch safe and community led.

In order to make this happen, have you added your ten cents yet? Share your ideas!

Popular topics were sustainability, achieving certainty from uncertainty and creating an iconic city not a boring one. As Karen Blincoe pointed out, sustainability can be quite a broad term. My favorite definition is the one coined in 1983 by the Norwegian Prime Minister for the UN: “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

If you would like more information about this event, read this impressive coverage by a 16-year-old Christchurch student.

Hope is in the air. There are a lot of good ideas around, now they just need to happen.

It’s all on.

You can now starting booking for your NZSO concerts for the year and I am assured that the CSO will not be far behind (make sure you keep an eye on their website over the next couple of weeks, or the newspaper from mid June).

There is a new tent village going into Hagley Park where Canterbury Celebration Theatre will be presenting the Wintergarden Season, a mix of cabaret, music and Kidsfest events. It is also expected to host the Jazz Festival and Arts Festival, New Zealand Cup and Show Week, and World Buskers Festival later in the year.

All of a sudden I’m feeling just a bit more happier about winter coming on.

A concert overture Papanui Road was commissioned for the Christchurch Symphony’s 25th Anniversary in 1987. The composer was John Ritchie, and Aquarius features a selection of works for string orchestra and full orchestra spanning thirty years of his life.

John Ritchie founded the John Ritchie String Orchestra and wrote much of his music in the 1950s and 60s for this group and the Alex Lindsay String Orchestra. This release marks John Ritchie’s 80th birthday.

Ritchie has created a body of work loved and enjoyed by performers and audiences alike for its deft craftsmanship and pleasing melodic grace.

This album (and over 52,000 more) is available online for free from anywhere with your library card number and PIN.

For New Zealand Music Month we are featuring a daily dose of free online New Zealand music from Naxos Music Library and the Source.

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