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New Zealand Sonic Art CD Series

The New Zealand Sonic Art CD Series is is curated, edited/produced and published through the School of Art's Music Programme encompassing works by many of New Zealand major electroacoustic and experimental composers.

New Zealand Sonic Art Vol.III

WORKS BY NEW ZEALAND ELECTROACOUSTIC COMPOSERS

Available from:
The Centre for New Zealand Music

TRACKS

  1. Hirini Melbourne/Richard Nunns : Te Hau Kuri (Dog's Breath) - 4:44
  2. John Elmsly : Soft Dawn Over Whispering Island - 10:32
  3. Kit Powell : Contrasts - 6:40
  4. Phil Dadson : Zitherum Voice - 8:00
  5. Ian Whalley : Kasumi - 7:46
  6. Norm Skipp : The Void - 6:03
  7. Chris Cree Brown : Aeolian Harp Sounds - 7:10
  8. Chris Knox : Rake - 2:56
  9. William Harsono : Subconscious - 7:11
  10. Michael Norris : Aquarelle - 10:24

CD INTRODUCTION

Forty years ago, New Zealander Douglas Lilburn established an approach to electroacoustic composition rooted in the investigation of environmental sound. The intention was to uncover the inner, spiritual values of natural sound and thereby develop an awareness of place. His work proved influential, but there have also been other strands running through the musical fabric of the country since then. Developments in popular music, a persistence of traditional MŠori music, experiments with found and invented instruments, works for instrument and tape, together with other approaches have maintained a rich texture of sonic art in the broader sense. In New Zealand electroacoustic music, Lilburn's ideals were superseded for a time by a fashion for the Anglo-French acousmatic approach, the aim being to explore sound in the abstract, removed from perceived source. In a significant move away from that view, and returning to an ethos more in tune with Lilburn's original vision, on this disc Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns perform their work on traditional MŠori instruments. The voices of these instruments rise up from the depths of the land, yet 'Te Hau Kuri' also requires electronic technology to exist. Studio machines have been humanly integrated with acoustic instruments, a direction of musical development predicted over thirty years ago by Steve Reich, among others. The piece extends their previous work and the expressive boundaries of the electroacoustic medium. A complementary approach has been taken by Ian Whalley where acoustic and electroacoustic elements are worked seamlessly within a cross-cultural context. These two works signal a new dimension in New Zealand music and, I believe in time, others will also be encouraged to explore these directions in electroacoustic music. Other works in this wide ranging compilation reflect some of the main strands of development in New Zealand sonic art, from Phil Dadson's 'Zitherum Voice' through Kit Powell's 'Contrasts' to Michael Norris's 'Aquarelle'. Only a few of the many submitted contributions could be included on the final disc, and this small collection documents just part of the work currently being produced. Our thanks to all composers who submitted material and made the project possible.

- Martin Lodge, University of Waikato, December 2002.


New Zealand Sonic Art Vol.II

WORKS BY NEW ZEALAND ELECTROACOUSTIC COMPOSERS

Available from:
The Centre for New Zealand Music

TRACKS

  1. Lissa Meridan: twitter torniquet - 7:53
  2. John Rimmer: Ancestral Voices - 14:39
  3. Daniel Beban: Herakles - 8:33
  4. Kit Powell: Dapple Metal - 9:12
  5. Craig Sengelow: Funhouse - 11:59
  6. Chris Cree Brown: Under Erebus - 14:42

This second CD in the New Zealand Sonic Art series is dedicated to the memory of Douglas Lilburn (1915-2001).

In his 1946 address to the Cambridge (New Zealand) Summer Music School Lilburn contended that the experience of living in New Zealand was remote from the music of the European masters. He suggested that New Zealand needed its own music to partly address a spiritual need for a sense of belonging. He also noted:

"I feel that a musician in this country must develop his awareness of the place he lives in, not attempting a mere imitation of nature in sound, but seeking its inner values, the manifestations of beauty and purpose it shows us from time to time, and perhaps using it as something against which he can test the validity of his own work."

Many of his ideals seem realised in his late composition output through his electroacoustic works. Similarly, each of the works on this current CD addresses aspects of Lilburn's ideas through a variety of techniques.

Australian Reviewer Warren Burt in Music in New Zealand (No.40 Summer 2001/2002) notes:

"This is the second annual CD collection of electro-acoustic works by New Zealand composers, and it is an impressive one - there is not an uninteresting or unattractive piece in the lot. Each piece is filled with moments of sonic beauty and fascination."

New Zealand Sonic Art Vol. II was officially launched on 8th March 2002 by the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Bryan Gould in the WEL Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts Gallagher Concert Chamber at the University of Waikato.


New Zealand Sonic Art 2000

WORKS BY NEW ZEALAND ELECTROACOUSTIC COMPOSERS

Available from:
The Centre for New Zealand Music

TRACKS

  1. John Young: Sju - 7:20
  2. John Elmsly: The Voice of Experience - 3:08
  3. Michael Norris: Chimaera - 7:51
  4. Miriama Young: Speak Volumes - 8:57
  5. Chris Cree Brown: Iron Pebbles and Gold Dust - 12:11
  6. John Rimmer: People, Power and Pollution - 7:40
  7. Matthew Suttor: He Gives What He Likes - 11:07
  8. Lisa Meridan-Skipp: Blaze - 6.31
  9. Dugal McKinnon: Horizont im Ohr -10:04

"...an ear-tingling, brain-scrambling taste of the current state of New Zealand electroacoustic composition... it continues to stimulate my listening and thinking. There is so much variety here, and so much technical brilliance..." Jack Body, Music in New Zealand.