Musica Balkanica a Music Month treat

Musica Balkanica logoMusica Balkanica are looking forward to treating you to a the variety of  uplifting and rhythmical songs from the Balkans from sacred music to folk songs in a variety of languages. There will be  some magnificent harmonies and a different slice of culture from this dedicated local choir.

The Society, formed in February 2004,  includes members from around the Balkan region, as well as Kiwis. When we think of Balkan music we think of accordions and gypsy music, Musica Balkanica exposes us to much more. This dedicated group sings many challenging traditional works of spiritual and cultural significance in various local Baltic languages. Their repertoire includes both sacred songs from the Christian Orthodox Liturgy and Old Slavonic and folk songs from the Balkans region sung a cappella.

A cappella in the modern sense is vocal music without instrumental accompaniment, we often associate it with barbershop, doo wop but it is so much more. The historical meaning of the name a cappella is Italian for “in the manner of the church”. Performing as part of New Zealand Music Month Musica Balkanica’s  aim is to broaden Kiwis exposure to Balkan music and its significance.

To further explore the joys of Balkan music:

During May Christchurch City Libraries brings you a variety of musical performances for  New Zealand  Music Month.

How are you celebrating New Zealand Music Month?

Looking forward to … Auckland Writers and Readers Festival

I believe I may have mentioned before just how lucky I am to have a job that actually requires me to spend hours reading books.  Well, sometimes it gets even better than that.  Sometimes I get paid to go listen to authors talk about their books as well.  And this means I am justified in saying things like, “No I can’t possibly do the dishes/weed the garden/shampoo the cat.  I simply must finish reading these 25 books before May 12th.”  For example.

However, it’s not all tea and bikkies.  Often there are authors I’ve not heard of, or subjects that at first glance seem less than enticing (to me, anyway, as queen of the zombie book); (sorry, lovely writers, it’s really nothing personal!).  And so it has been with not a little trepidation that I have started my programme of reading for this year’s Auckland Writers and Readers Festival.

I have to say, though, that so far it’s going great.  I have very much enjoyed Jill Dawson’s book on Rupert Brooke (which I cheated a little with and listened to on our new mp3 format discs), and absolutely loved Rachael King’s Magpie Hall.  I devoured Charlie Higson’s The Enemy (inside joke – read the book), and am following this up with one of his Young James Bond series.  On my desk await David Levithan, Sarah Thornton, and Lionel Shriver – it’s a little crowded, but they appear to all be very happy together so far …

As for my Reserves list – well, I’ll keep you updated … 

And don’t even think about mentioning the housework!