As part of a project Mike Holland was running with his studio production third year class at Otago University, he asked me if I would like to get something recorded in the studio.
So I wrote this piece, ‘Silent Image‘ – a kind of minimalism meets funk groove thing… lots of tuned percussion, synths and keyboards, plus bass, drums, and horns.
It was a fun day in the Otago University Albany Street Studio!
On Tuesday 4th of August I gave a concert called ‘Imagined Landscapes’. It was a collection of music I have composed, most new, some revisits of older stuff. Lots of multimedia things, and some multi-sensory elements exploring smell and taste.
As part of the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Step Higher Award I was lucky enough to head to the Himalayas to spend a couple of weeks following in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary exploring a small part of his trek to Everest and the humanitarian work he was doing in the area. We visited a number of schools and a hospital that he helped build. It was quite an experience – very quiet and remarkably beautiful. The highest point we trekked to was Ama Dablam base camp at 4600m. Here are a few pictures.
The travel also included some time in London, Adelaide, Renmark and Hamilton catching up with friends and family.
3. Music for the Brain.
Before I left I was lucky enough to collaborate on a project with the Otago University Brain Health Research Centre. Working with neuroscientist Professor David Bilkey I composed a piece of music designed to spark responses in the brain that would be visable on an EEG brain scan. Then for the premiere performance at the Otago Museum there would be someone attached to one of these machines and the brain wave scans would be projected on to a screen as part of the presentation.
At the end of last year I had the opportunity to create a soundscape for a new contemporary dance work “Whenua” by Karen Barbour.
The work was premiered at a conference at Waikato University.
In the recording and creation of this piece I had the privilege of working with Alistair Fraser playing his selection of taonga puoro. We recorded his parts at the University of Otago Music Department Albany Street Studios with Stephen Stedman.
Have a listen to an edited remix version of the piece below:
It seems a new musical tradition is being set in motion. This time, one year ago I was lucky enough to spent a couple of days with a group of great musicians (Chris Lam Sam, Nick Granville, Nick Tipping, Jeremy Badger, Adam Page) creating and co-composing the soundtrack to the movie – Penny Black. This movie is nearing a release (with an accompanying soundtrack album).
For the second version of this new yearly tradition, I spent the day today in the University of Otago Music Department Albany Street Studios creating new music with Rob Burns (bass) and Robbie Craigie (drums and vibraphone). It is always great to get into a creative space with likeminded musicians and create sound in a space together.
Very much looking forward to getting in and mixing the new music from today… but in the meantime here are some tracks from the Penny Black Soundtrack. It is such an honour and a privilege to be able to make music with all these extremely talented and generous musicians.