Scores for Modern Maori Quartet with NZSO

Music scores. #notation #copyistIt’s not often you score a nationwide tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, but that’s just what the Modern Maori Quartet have done and they’re going all out commissioning arrangements from several fantastic New Zealand composers: Claire Cowan, Chris Gendall, Anonymouz, Gareth Farr, Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper, Robbie Ellis and Mark Dennison,

I have thoroughly enjoyed preparing five of these new arrangements – those by Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper and Anonymouz, along with some additional orchestration.

They’re touring to 12 centres in February and March. It will be impressive, get a ticket here.

Preparing for Mahana

Mahana posterI had the great pleasure of working on the Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper and Tama Waipara score for Mahana – a new feature film opening in cinemas on March 3. It’s directed by Lee Tamahori and based on the Bulibasha book by Witi Ihimaera. The best place to read more about it is probably the movie Facebook page, so check that out.

I was doing the music preparation, some orchestration and also flew to Wellington for the main day of recording to ensure everything worked a treat.

The score is really stunning, has a unique New Zealand flavour and it’s so great to see new voices coming through in New Zealand film scoring. It was my first time working with Mahuia and I definitely hope not the last.

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Orchestrating ‘Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses’

I was delighted to recently orchestrate Rhian Sheehan’s score for ‘Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses’ – a new film premiering at this year’s NZ International Film Festival.

The film is about the 2007 Wainuiomata mākutu lifting of Janet Moses. I haven’t seen the film myself yet but everything I’ve heard is that it is an impressive production.

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Merry Christmas

christmasAnd just like that, another year is coming to an end.

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me in some way this year – that may have been with work, with ideas or just with conversation.

It has been an incredible time of music making for me with many wonderful opportunities, inspiring people to work with and some stunning ensembles and musicians to bring the music to life. Some of these include:

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Tweeting from the NZSO NYO

Pondering the @nzsonyo programme!I was very happy to get a twitter message from the NZSO National Youth Orchestra earlier in the week offering me free tickets to last night’s concert if I would tweet from it through the night.

Obviously, I jumped at the opportunity. I’m guessing they chose me as a composer – there was a new New Zealand work on the programme – and they also asked pianist Jason Bae – I’m sure to give insight on piano soloist Lara Melda.

You may be wondering, I wasn’t allowed to tweet during the actual concert just before, during the interval and afterwards.

Here are some of my tweets:

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I survived 2012. This is how it was!

The New Year means it’s time to have a look back over the past year and see, through my blog posts, what has taken shape and what I have to say for myself!

January started with a very well deserved “Shout-out to VaultPress” after they marvellously got my website back up and running after a meltdown!

3100508059_5c99a0f9e1_zFebruary is the start of the school term and I posted about the preparation work I do for schools.

My typing fingers must have been tired at the end of March – it started with two popular posts, iOS apps for music professionals and Digital music stands vs iPads, following on from, again, two very popular posts I did in 2010.

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Questions for a composer

School_WorkEvery now and then I get sent an email from a student who is doing an assignment on a “living musician”, or a “real composer”, or on how to “make it in the music industry”.

Recently I got a list of questions from Jayde, a student at Kerikeri High School. I first met Jayde when I did some composition workshops there last year. He had a great list of questions and I thought they, and the answers, were worth sharing.

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2010 through the eyes of a blog

monkey-thinkingIt is December 31 and I just wondered “what exactly has happened this year?”

So through the eyes of this blog, let’s have a look. We’ll start with January and the tail end of our South America trip, along with the workshopping and recording of my music in Brazil.

January 4th Leg Four – Argentina to Paraguay to Brazil
January 11th Leg Five – Rio de Janeiro to Paraty to Auckland
January 12th A day with Sphaera

After spending too many hours hunting down good repertoire for my school orchestras, in February I explored the efforts of conducting. I also set up my newsletter with MailChimp.

February 20th Conducting – 90% perspiration, 10% exhilaration
February 26th Automating the monthly issue

It was a plentiful month of posts in March, many on great discoveries I recently made but also highlighted a new piece, Picture for Emily, for my niece.

March 14th Sibelius First – if you’re so inclined
March 15th Moana Ataahua programme launched
March 16th Picture for Emily – aiming for the small market
March 16th Scoring Avatar
March 18th My indispensables
March 19th If Lake Taupo was a piece of music, what would it sound like?

In April it was all about preparing Moana Ataahua for its massive premiere at the ERUPT Lake Taupo Festival.

April 24th Moana Ataahua set to ERUPT in May (article from SOUNZ)
April 28th Moana Ataahua, the rehearsals begin

I explored digital music stands in May, how they compare and how I wanted one. Do I still want one now? That is another post!

May 15th Digital music stands, hook me up – Music Pad, Music Reader, eStand

I summed up the Moana Ataahua premiere in June and did a very popular post on music apps for your iOS devices.

June 1st Moana Ataahua, the premiere
June 2nd iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps for the music professional

It was great to see plenty of music getting performed through July.

July 12th Wild Daisies premiere
July 18th Breathe In, Breathe Out – a concert of overtures and finales
July 27th SoundCloud, move your music
July 29th Three pieces performed by Brazil’s Sphaera Ensemble

The Auckland schools orchestra festival happened in August, so did some pondering on music theory.

August 27th Sounds great! I want it, I want it now
August 30th KBB Music Festival 2010, thumbs up
August 31st Music theory, do we need it or not?

Spent a fantastic few days in Wellington in September recording Rakaia with the NZSO. Also, Rhian Sheehan’s amazing score for The Cult, which I helped out with, won best score!

September 9th More iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps for the music professional
September 20th The Cult wins at Qantas Film and Television Awards
September 23rd NZSO/SOUNZ Readings 2010

In November I did a three part post looking at music printing, engravers, copyists and how things are changing. I also hooked up Sibelius users with some great resources!

November 29th So, you’re a Sibelius user?
November 30th Music printing, a journey for engravers (part 1 of 3)
November 30th Music copying and confusion (part 2 of 3)
November 30th Changing times for music preparers (part 3 of 3)

As you would expect, I got festive in December but also looked at a new feature for sounz.org.nz.

December 7th A Christmas wish list for composer-musicians
December 24th SOUNZ moves forward, again
December 24th Merry Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year

Happy New Year everyone!!