Music is part of the world we live in and many of us take it for granted and give little thought as to what its core function really is.
In the first lecture of the University of Waikato’s Hamilton Public Lecture series, composer and Head of Composition at the University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music Professor Martin Lodge delves into the fundamental question of why do we humans make, play and listen to music? And does music reflect the society it comes from or does it actually help shape that society?
Professor Lodge highlights how changes in technology, such as software engines and automated DJ apps, have brought dramatic change to the field of music and how the internet and social media blur distinctions between composer, performer and listener. He also asks if it is time to rethink what music actually is and how it functions.
The format of the lecture on Tuesday 19 March will break with tradition and the audience will be treated to a special live performance of a short composition by Professor Lodge, given by staff and students from the Conservatorium of Music.
As a composer, Professor Lodge is known for his eclectic and individual style. He has received commissions from the major performance ensembles in New Zealand, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonic, the Ogen Trio and the New Zealand Chamber Soloists, as well as from leading performers in other parts of the world, such as William Dowdall (Ireland) and Timothy Deighton (USA).
After completing university studies in music and English literature, Professor Lodge spent 13 years as a freelance composer and musician, working mainly out of Wellington. In 1995 he was appointed to the staff of the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Waikato.
His recent creative work includes the string quartet Stream written for and recorded by the Polaris Quartet of Shanghai. Current projects include a commission for the New Zealand Trio and a viola concerto. As a scholar, Martin has pioneered the field of music historiography (the theory of music history writing) in New Zealand and in 2016 commissioned the carving of Te Kohinga Taonga Puoro, a comprehensive playing collection of traditional Māori instruments. This collection is held by the Conservatorium.
Professor Lodge's lecture is part of the Hamilton Public Lecture series which introduces the newest professors at the University to the community and gives them a chance to demonstrate how their work is having a real impact on the world around us.
All lectures are free, open to the public and held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, beginning at 5.45pm with refreshments available from 5.15pm. Registration is essential – visit the event listing to RSVP. For a complete list of lecture dates, visit the Hamilton Public Lecture series webpage.