The unquiet library

Pandemonium performs at South Library in 2011

When I arrived at South Library on Saturday all was quiet. Down in the far corner however, were a few bumps and bangs. Following the noises I located Brett Painter setting up percussion instruments for a performance of music by Pandemonium. Children surrounded him on the floor shaking tins and tinkering with empty plastic containers.

The moment the performance began children and adults crowded around, mesmerized by a thrilling performance of rhythmic music from around the world. Two performers somehow managed to sound like an entire orchestra. I was surprised to find that it is possible to play The Flight of the Bumblebee on the Marimba, albeit with two performers running around it, playing from both sides and regularly swapping positions.

I found myself beside two tourists happily shaking their improvised instruments to the music. In front of them the children were completely involved. Under instruction from Brett, their drum sticks were flourished when the music was loud and vanished again to be replace by gentle shaking and scratching when the music was soft. The rest of the audience clapped along too.

I love these guys. Their high energy and captivating rhythms and musicianship are a winning combination.

Christchurch music videos: Alligator Song – Bill Direen

The video’s moody feel and emphasis on the physical movement of an exotic dancer in the back alleys of Christchurch reflect Direen’s previous projects with Blue Ladder Theatre.

Alligator Song


Search our catalogue for Bill Direen.

Find out more about  NZ Music Month at Christchurch City Libraries.

1980s rock posters – Cool stuff for NZ Music Month #3

We digitised a bunch of 1980s Christchurch rock posters from the libraries’ ephemera collection for New Zealand Music Month 2007.

They are uber-cool, and if you have a hankering for more rock posters, Digital NZ has a splendid collection of posters from the Alexander Turnbull Library.

And you can: