The results of Song Sale (digressing into broadcasting policy)

The University of Otago Music Department has some recording studios at Albany Street. Because I’m technically staff there, this great facility is available to me from time to time.

I was too lazy to walk there and photograph it myself, so I got Google to do it for me.

The building was constructed in the 1960s as the Dunedin headquarters of Radio New Zealand for stations such as 4YA, 4YC, 4ZB and 4ZM (now known by other names). There’s a distinct Glide Time public servant vibe to the place – squat postwar modernist layout, unpainted wooden doors, blue parquet floors, pre-yellowed net curtains, and behind those perforated ceiling and wall tiles there’s probably a crapload of asbestos. read more

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Trip to Auckland!

I’m going to Auckland tonight. Given my history of hurriedly writing blog posts at Dunedin airport just before boarding, I thought I’d give myself a two-and-a-bit-hour head start.

The scores I need for my trip to Auckland. Thanks to Alison at the Music office for doing the binding.

Plenty of projects for my four days up in Auckland.

Seeing the family. Always a pleasure, never a chore. Mightily convenient for an airport pick-up too 🙂

Beatrice. A cor anglais solo feature, just a 1-minute thing, extracted from a larger work. Tomorrow day, the APO plays it in an Education Concert in the Town Hall. I might have to say something from the stage. read more

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Organ & Orchestra developments

Pull out _all_ the stops!

Yesterday I was catching up on podcasts from Upbeat.

Phil Brownlee reviewed a concert by NZTrio in which they brought in a drum kit for Kenji Bunch’s Concerto for piano trio and percussion (from 10:38):

“It’s often challenging in a concert setting. […] [An] issue with the drum kit is just the balance, particularly if you’re alluding to the rock setting, the rock-jazz kind of sound. Early on the piece it felt like Lenny Sakofsky was holding it down to balance with the trio and it doesn’t sound like a drum kit until you start hitting it hard.” read more

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SoundCloud

I’ve been discovering the joys of SoundCloud. For those of you unfamiliar with the site, it’s a clean, functional host for audio.

Free accounts can upload up to 120 minutes of audio, but I’ve just about hit that limit. I’ve parted with €29.99 for a year’s worth of upgrade.

The first thing I get is another 120 minutes of audio. I can start making a dent in that with such things as a uni electroacoustic work, theatre music from shows I’ve done in Wellington (Young & Hungry 2008, German Play 2008, Two Day Plays 2009), and another composition or two. read more

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Signing Off

Two of my last podcastable contributions to Radio New Zealand as an employee:

Yesterday was the broadcast date for my final piece for Upbeat, a show I’ve moved up the ranks with. Starting as fill-in assistant producer (for a day or two at a time), I eventually became fill-in producer (for a day or two at a time) and once or twice even fill-in presenter (for a day or two at a time). Along the way I supplied them with plenty of extra packages here and there – all sort of in addition to the job I’m actually employed to do. read more

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Sorry, I meant to see your show

I, George Nēpia publicity shot

I, George Nēpia - winner of four awards including Production of the Year, and yet another Wellington theatre success story I didn't end up seeing. (Publicity image thiefed from circa.co.nz.)

Last night the 2011 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards took place, an annual Wellington institution to recognise awesome. I played continuity music.

I also wrote the opening song called “Sorry, I meant to see your show”, which was performed brilliantly by the Shoreline Cab Savs and MC Emma Kinane. (Edit: Lyrics & demo here.) It’s quite appropriate: out of the nine shows that won awards – the cream of this year’s Wellington theatre crop – I saw only three. At least Nēpia has a return season starting tomorrow (Edit: Thursday) so there’s no excuse there. read more

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Have my job

My desk at Radio New Zealand.

My desk at Radio New Zealand. I promise I'll leave it tidier than this.

I’m leaving Radio New Zealand Concert, finishing up in mid-January. (That said, I’ll stay involved as an external freelance contributor to programmes like Composer of the Week, The Critic’s Chair, Upbeat etc.)

My bosses have advertised my job and you can apply for it. I have reduced the job summary to a haiku:

…strong…working…artists…
…unusual blend…and…desire…
…celebrate…to hear…

That’s all you really need to know. I mean, you can send away for an actual full job description if you like but those things are always so full of HR waffle. Trust me, it’s a good job. read more

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Snap-happy

Photo: Gareth Watkins / Lilburn Trust / Wallace Arts Trust

My new default publicity shot accompanied by my new default publicity shot credit. (Photo: Gareth Watkins / Lilburn Trust / Wallace Arts Trust)

A couple of months ago, I was photographed by Gareth Watkins. Gareth is a photographer, media producer and a work colleague of mine (by day he’s a studio engineer at Radio New Zealand).

He had asked me to be part of Composer 015 – a project to photograph and interview 15 New Zealand composers aged from their mid-20s to their early 90s! It’s currently a work in progress, supported by the Lilburn Trust and the Wallace Arts Trust. I believe that once the photos are compiled, they’ll be published in book form… I think that’s right? I should probably know. read more

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New Zealand Improv Festival – systems go!

A lightbulb moment.So I missed the first night of the New Zealand Improv Festival in Wellington. I was filling in for Kate Mead on Sound Lounge. And I’ll miss the second night too. I’m filling in for Kate Mead on Nights with Bryan Crump. (See what happens when people take leave from work?!)

But I’ll be there the third, fourth and fifth nights, playing musical accompaniment for ten different shows. You should come. Book at BATS Theatre.

Two in particular leap out at me as being very exciting:

The Long Weekend. I blogged about this a few weeks ago but since then I’ve actually workshopped it with the players! The ideas they have will make for some emotionally honest improv – the disconnect between idealised memories of uni days and the reality of late-20s-hood / early-30s-hood is perfect fodder for interpersonal relationships to laugh and cry over. Thu 13 October, 9:30pm. read more

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