Song Sale Auckland

Song Sale, which started in Wellington and which I brought to Dunedin, is starting in Auckland! Almost seems like we’re franchising this thing proper…

I’ve wanted to start Song Sale Auckland since I settled in the city of my birth in May last year. I’ve held off until now because I only entered Auckland’s stand-up comedy scene a couple of months ago. Now I feel I have the contacts to make it work…

So it’s taking place on Monday 24 February at One 2 One Cafe on Ponsonby Rd. (Facebook event here.) According to the poster below: read more

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Silly graphics

Actual work I’m doing:
– Being a real composer with three commissions on the go. All of them involve violin and/or piano.
– Preparing the comedy show Augmented Fourth with Sam Smith. An hour of musical comedy, in both Auckland and Wellington for the New Zealand International Comedy Festival.
– Editing and working up a book of poems from the Eketahuna German Literature Society.
– Writing songs for a musical theatre collaboration with Thomas Sainsbury.
– Tidying up other sheet music and recordings here and there. read more

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Colin Craig Says Words – The Opera

Source: gaynz.com

Source: gaynz.com

My flatmate Andrew Grenon and I made a new video for Politics The Opera. It’s accidentally timely in regard to a particular BSA decision.

Dear world: sooner or later we’re going to come to you for a Pledge Me drive, so we can produce Politics The Opera videos all through next year (election year), and with higher production values.

Until then, we’re the ones giving you the presents. Enjoy.

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Robbie’s arbitrarily selective list of “new music” in 2014

newmusicAfter last year’s compiled list, I’m doing the same again this year. Four major classical music organisations that operate in Auckland have released their 2014 programmes: the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Music New Zealand, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand Opera (today at The Cloud).

I have gone through the programmes and picked out all the “new music” that’s in there in one easy-to-read list. Aren’t you fullas lucky?

In New Zealand Opera’s case, there is no “new music” to mention, but that’s not too surprising given there are only three productions next year. In the case of the other organisations, there’s a reasonable smattering. The APO has the most I’m looking forward to. CMNZ’s Kaleidoscope Series has some cool stuff, as will their Encompass Series (not announced yet, but pieces of mine are in there :-)). The NZSO’s brochure has this animal: read more

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The munging of the tunes

Lorde and Dave Dobbyn both have hit songs where the title rhymes with oil.. or oils. Kinda. Royals is currently No 1 on the US Billboard Chart. Loyal was going to be once again overexposed once Team New Zealand won the America’s Cup, but then they didn’t.

MASH-UPS FOR THE SAKE OF MASH-UPS!

This is me in my bedroom. It has nearly 4,000 views in a day-and-a-bit:

This is me in my lounge playing that Yamaha Electone B-60 I bought for $100 off Trade Me. It has pretty much 0 views because I only just uploaded it now: read more

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Haven’t published anything in a while.

My life has been quite bitsy, full of lots of small projects.

Well, here’s one resultable fruit:

The Root Vegetable Opera is an overblown comedy song for mock operatic baritone and piano. Eight months on from the recording session, I’ve mixed the tracks. I don’t sound terrrrible, but I’m no classically trained singer. Corwin Newall, on the other hand, is a classically trained pianist.

On the topic of recording vocals, next week I make a studio recording of Annie & Joshua with my two singers. I’m getting Bridget Costello just a week before she leaves for London to study, but Callum Blackmore’s staying around for ages. Good. read more

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Having fun with language

Last night I got to speak sustained German for the first time in a while – I chatted with Nadine Antler from Kaktussen, an improv troupe in Würzburg.

She’s here at Improvention in Canberra, and so am I. While it’s okay if I screw up my German chatting in a bar, she’s consistently performing and improvising in English on stage. That’s bravery.

So far I’ve done six shows (two as an actor and four as a musician), and I have at least five to go. More on those later, if I get around to committing thoughts to keyboard. read more

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Ngā ingoa o Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Source: New Zealand Gazette.

Source: New Zealand Gazette.

It’s Māori Language Week, bitches!

Yesterday I saw that my improv colleague Jennifer O’Sullivan had changed her Twitter name to “Kōtea Patupaiarehe“, or ‘pale fairy’, the literal way-back-when meaning of “Jennifer”. I was inspired to discover my own best conversion into Māori, but to go hardout and do all three of my names. And none of this transliteration crap either, Mr Ropata.

Note: I did all this research before someone else pointed out that Te Reo educationalist Te Mihinga Komene was already running “Pimp My Ingoa” for the Twitterverse – that’s where Jen got her name done. With the caveat that Te Mihinga is an actual proper Te Reo speaker and I’m just a Pākehā who knows how to use Google, here goes. read more

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Starving Artist Productions presents

Dawn. Music suggesting an impending battle scene.

ROBBIE surveys the creative landscape and delivers a soliloquy to camera.

leonidas-gerard-butlerAs I return to the soil of my birth after a long exile, I wish for strength. I wish for courage. I wish for the fortitude to withstand long periods of no work coming in before that six-hour job that pays two grand will see my rent through for the next little while. Or that out-of-town tour where I get paid and I keep most of my per diems.

I summon the gods to be on my side in this endeavour. To help me accept with equanimity the vicissitudes of the self-employed life. To guide me towards restraint in times of feast and parents’ free meals in times of famine. To ward off malevolent witchcraft from infecting my Subaru chariot’s motor so as not to summon an eye-wateringly expensive mechanical shaman. To give me the clear sight of Teiresias to know I don’t really need to buy that book for forty bucks because, let’s face it, I probably won’t get around to reading it. read more

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The “wow” moment – Part 1

I have a habit of writing blog posts at airports. But that is apt – airports are portals for the beginnings and ends of journeys. Palaces of taking stock. Palaces of excitement of what is to come and reflection on what has been. And palaces of not enough power points and intrusively annoying WiFi networks. Yes, I’m at LAX.

I’ve been on the road 127 days on my longest travels yet. I’ve been in two improv festivals, gone to the world’s largest musical festival, seen improv, comedy, music, theatre, ballet, musical theatre and opera. I’ve entered five countries, three Canadian provinces and twelve US states (four of which I was in for transit only). read more

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