Led Zeppelin and Tchaikovsky

One of my earliest music memories is my Dad playing me Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. He was always more of a Led Zeppelin fan in truth, so his knowledge of classical music was surprising. Then again anyone who listens to the 1812 Overture with its cannon fire and chimes at the end would be forgiven in thinking this may have been the start of “heavy metal”.

I can and do stream the 1812 Overture on Naxos Music Library and Music Online. I only did it at work once and my productivity went up – true story. By the end of that piece of music I felt like I could run a marathon despite being stuck at my desk. I only did it once at work though, because people stared at my manic legs jiggling up and down and my hands waving invisible conductor batons.

If you enjoy music in all its forms then we have streaming eResources for you available 24/7. I mean who doesn’t want to listen to Turkish Hip Hop on Contemporary World Music? Or maybe watch Verdi’s La Traviata at the Royal Opera House in Convent Garden on Naxos Video Library? There is a huge range for everyone to help you rediscover past musical memories and make new ones. I think it was Dick Clark who said “music is the soundtrack to your life”. What will your soundtrack be? Mine started with cannon fire let us hope it doesn’t end with a whimper.

It’s Booktacular – Big Bargain Book Sale – Friday 20 and Saturday 21 March 2015

The Library book sale is a Christchurch institution. And a bit of a booklovers’ frenzy! One of my favourite things is seeing people with all sorts of carrying devices filled to the gunnels with books books BOOKS. It is booktacular.

KidsLibrary book sale 2013Library book sale 2012

The 2015 Big Bargain Book Sale is on soon at the Pioneer Recreation & Sport Centre, 75 Lyttelton Street, Spreydon.

  • Friday 20 March 2015 9am – 7pm

  • Saturday 21 March 2015 9am – 4pm

I am not immune to the charms of this annual sale. Though I think I narrowed my selection down after this picture. Because I didn’t have a suitcase on wheels like some Christchurchians did.

2010 Library book sale

Douglas Lilburn – Complete Electro Acoustic Works – free online New Zealand music

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.

Te Whaiao – Te Ku Te Whe Remixed by Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns – Remixed by Various New Zealand Artists – free online New Zealand music

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.

WHA by Moana and the Tribe – free online New Zealand music

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 – free online New Zealand music

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 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.

Aquarius: Music by John Ritchie – free online New Zealand music

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.

The voice inside by Lyell Cresswell – free online New Zealand music

In The voice inside, Lyell Cresswell explores the ever-changing relationship between the soprano and violin soloists and the orchestra, while Cassandra’s Songs, which also set words by Scottish poet Ron Butlin, is concerned with exile, identity and belonging. Alas! How Swift embodies in musical terms the inescapable passing of time. His Trombone Concerto takes its name Kaea from the Maori wooden war trumpet used to terrify enemies and raise alarms.

New Zealand-born Edinburgh-based Lyell Cresswell has composed works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, choir, voice and solo instruments which have been widely performed and broadcast.

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.

Winds that Whisper by the Tower New Zealand Youth Choir – free online New Zealand music

Winds that Whisper is a collection of 20th century choral music from New Zealand’s outstanding Tower NZ Youth Choir directed by Karen Grylls.

It brings together a wide range of New Zealand choral music – from waiata by Ngapo Wehi and Richard Puanaki to major works by Jenny McLeod and David Hamilton. It provides a comprehensive overview of the rich choral music that has been produced by New Zealand composers.

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.

Pink and White by Martin Setchell – free online New Zealand music

Concert organist Martin Setchell is Organ Curator of the Christchurch Town Hall, where he regularly performed on the acclaimed Rieger pipe organ. Here on Pink and White – New Zealand Organ Music, 1944-2004 we hear works by Anthony Ritchie, David Farquhar, Douglas Lilburn, John Ritchie, Douglas Mews, Jack Body, Tecwyn Evans and Martin Setchell himself, performed on the Rieger organ.

Recorded January. 27-28, 2005,  Pink and White features

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.