Every winter is the same in our household. He-who-loves-me asks, “Do you think is is going to snow in Christchurch this winter?” Every winter I say, “Yes” and he says, “It never snows in Christchurch”.
However, I think statistics are on my side. I moved to Christchurch in the winter of 1988 and every year, with the exception of two, there has been snow on our front lawn. Admittedly, it usually isn’t much. Some years we have struggled to find enough snow on the lawn to have a snowball fight; other years, we can make a snowman. The snow is usual gone by lunchtime.
There has been the odd occasion when the snowfall has been dramatic. The driveway has disappeared, school has been cancelled and getting to work has been ‘an adventure’. I try to be prepared for these events. I keep my boots handy so I can go outside without breaking my neck. Woolly socks are dug out of the back of the sock drawer and I make sure I have a good supply of DVDs and books.
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.