Tag Archives: Music

Revist #thethreeoclocksilentdiscoclub

I’ve been doing the #thethreeoclocksilentdiscoclub since May. (Reminder of the tag: 3pm + quiet in the library = chair-dancing time.) It has been fun but all good things must come to an end. I’ve decided that will be when Daylight Saving Time kicks in (last Sunday in September, when 2.00am becomes 3.00am.) I’m pretty sure that people are listening but without any way of assessing that, I fear that it will become annoying. (Like the fitness updates or 4square checkins or that hashtag that just won’t stop.)

Most of the tracks are available on the playlist. Every so often a video goes dark or is removed from the playlist by the owner. Sadly my calendar had a melt-down, so I’m not actually sure of the names of all the tracks. I quite like this as a philosophy –¬† #thethreeoclocksilentdiscoclub is ephemeral, only existing when it can. (I know that’s technically not true since I’ve collected them into a playlist but please, work with me here.)

Since the focus has been on tracks you can dance to, I’ll point you to Russell Brown’s Friday Music: Dancing Fool. It’s about dancing. I love dancing. I don’t do it much now – lack of opportunity mostly. My desire to dance has always been outweighed by my lack of specific knowledge about dance moves. The music tells me to do one thing, but I can’t figure out how to do it physically. My favourite dancing memory is hanging out with the cast of The Arrival and watching them dance in the Festival Club at one of the NZ International Arts Festivals. Those guys can move. They have the skills plus they look full of joy while they do it.

I’m not sure about the “Dance as if nobody’s watching” thing. I try to dance in relationship to the person I’m dancing with. This means watching for balance, counter-balance, interaction, lead, follow, etc. And space. I like lots of space to dance in. Sardine-style is not my favourite way to dance. Unsurprisingly, I also can’t abide formal or slow dancing. Give me room to move! Give me room to be in control sometimes! I tend towards literal interpretation, or “Old school” as my niece calls it. I think I could do “Dance as if nobody’s judging” instead.

Here’s the final track for 2013. Well, maybe not the _final_ track. There may be some special episodes ūüėČ

C & C Music factory – Everybody dance now

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Redux #thethreeoclocksilentdiscoclub

I’m one month and 21 tracks into #thethreeoclocksilentdiscoclub (Quick recap on the title: 3pm + quiet in the library = chair-dancing time.) I’ll admit this is also a bit of a research experiment for me. If I regularly tweet a hashtag plus link at the same time every working day – what happens? Will people reply with their own track? Will they get annoyed? What kind of response will I get?

Apart from one sad comment that the time clashes with the school pick-up run ūüė¶ the response has been pretty positive. People have talked about the stories that a particular track has prompted them to remember. I’ve found some songs that are new to me – which turn out to be other people’s favourites. I’ve been@’d and DM’d titles. I’m posting these – either with direct HT/via attribution or with a pseudonym.

I like that I can release a #thethreeoclocksilentdiscoclub into the wild and sometimes an echo will come back.

Here’s today’s track.

Ciara – I’m out ft. Nicki Minaj (clean version #SafeForWork)

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3pm can be a tricky time of the day for me. All the students are in class, it’s quiet in the library and the post-lunch nap is trying to get a look in. Inspired by a Twitter convo on silent discos I’ve started tweeting a track after 3pm for us all to quietly chair dance to.
Here’s today’s track (on solid repeat at my place)

If you have a song that always gets you up dancing let me know what it is. It will probably make an appearance in the #thethreeoclocksilentdiscoclub

*dances out of room*

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Everything is ka pai

This was the first thing I went to after I arrived in Auckland for the Auckland Arts Festival 2013. It was a fantastic way to start, not least of which was running into people I know. I saw more people that I knew in the 15 mins before the show started than I ever do on the streets of Wellington. (So what if most of them were from Wellington…)

According to the Festival website, Everything is ka pai “In a nutshell: Kiwi crooners, class acts and good times” which is a pretty accurate description of what we got. (It’s missing out on the¬†‘heart’¬†bit of the¬†equation but I guess there was a word count.)¬†¬†It was held in the Auckland Town Hall, a¬†lovely fancy venue. The audience were ready to engage with the performers and the performers were warm towards the audience.

So it starts in the dark with Hinewehi Mohi and Tama Nathan performing Haere Mai (Everything is ka pai), kicks into gear with house band The Yoots (THE YOOTS), digs into my heart with Seth Haapu and Blue Smoke (marred by an annoying buzzing but still beautiful), then brings the cheeky with the Modern Maori Quartet’s version of Pokarekare Ana. Four tracks in, there are people dancing in the aisles and smiles all over the place. Our first chance to sing along is Tutira Mai Nga Iwi. It’s a bit dodgy (the band has solos which are fantastic but confuse us) which adds to the charm of the night. It feels like we are all responsible for how it goes.¬† Maisey Rika with the St Joseph’s Maori Girls Choir sing a Hirini Melbourne waiata, then Te Waka Huia (TE WAKA HUIA) take us Round the Motu with waiata from all over NZ. It’s a fantastic combination of songs in English and songs in Maori. The Modern Maori Quartet are back with Cruise (arranged by Tama Waipara who arranged the evening), then Ten Guitars played by Ten Good Wa(hine)s (hahaha) featuring Anika Moa and Julia Deans. The two featured women have a wonderful rapport, hilariously trying to out do each other’s vocals. The Ten Good Wa’s include a string quartet, several guitars¬†and a ukulele. The first half closes with Ria Hall belting out Whakaaria Mai. Actually, that undersells what she does but I can’t think of some other way to describe it. I guess it’s that she sings her spirit into the waiata.

In the break I nip out to get a couple glasses of wine (1 for me and 1 for a friend) only to almost spill them when Stan Walker bumps into me. I find my friend again and she invites me to sit at her table. It was fun sitting at the back being able to see almost the whole audience but not so fun not being able to see past the sound guy who kept standing up. (Sit down bro, you’re in the way.) Her table is halfway down on the side. Immediately I spot another two friends. I’ve been at this new table for 10 seconds and already I’m ignoring them. Happily there’s enough time to be introduced to everyone. I also have a good chat with my closest table mate. He and his partner have been in the country for 5 weeks. They love the concert, particularly the MMQ. (Not surprising I guess. Gorgeous men with lovely voices and a little bit cheeky.)

The second half starts with a conga line around the hall. Somehow I’m dragged in (actually I know how,¬†Miria George *glares*) and dance my way around the tables. Will and Annie Crummer with The Rarotongans sing three songs. Song number two Aue Taku Tane has the whole crowd spellbound. Maisey Rika, Ria Hall and Annie Crummer are back with a song celebrating Ethnic Beauty. I’m not entirely sure about the lyrics although once again, I guess¬†there’s a limit to how many ideas you can get into a thing. Finally John Rowles sings Cheryl Moana Marie and If I Only Had Time. My friend was so excited that we had to stand to the side. She couldn’t stay seated. It was a little like seeing a living legend…actually, it was exactly that. I can’t exactly remember what happened next – either Te Waka Huia came back out and sang Poi E OR the marching band came out playing Maori Battalion March to Victory. All I remember at the end was an overwhelming sense of good humour and aroha. Not a bad way to finish a performance.

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“The twelve pages of Witi’s words, without music, spare on their A4 white paper sheets, felt for a long time like a depopulated city, a ghost town.” writes Charlotte Yates in the programme notes. Being in the audience last night felt a bit like that too. I want to let all of you know who were not there (or at the Great Town Hall the night before) – YOU FELLAS MISSED OUT.
Award winning musicians interpret Ihimaera’s word in a variety of musical styles – electronica, hiphop, jazz, rock and others that I don’t know the name of. The second thing they all have in common* is that they are very very clever. There are tricky rhythm changes, vocally challenging (and amusing) interludes, haunting melodies and instruments.
It works like this – 1. Kirk Torrance narrates a bit about Ihimaera’s life while the technicians set up. 2. The musicians come on and play. Repeat. (The technicians worked incredibly fast to set up during the narration. Good work team!) Some of the text is dense and academic. Kirk does a good job of wrestling it under control.

It’s on again tonight. *hint hint*

8pm, Genesis Energy Theatre, in-the-city-formerly-known-as-Manukau

*obviously the first is Ihimaera’s words.

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Taking a chance on music #NZfest

Sunday's festivalling was a bit of a mixed bag.?? I thought I'd take a punt on some of the musical things.?? (It's not that I don't like music but a couple of years pushing buttons in a radio station means that I blank a lot of it out.)?? After buying my $20 ticket to Peaks of Cloud at the festival caravan I called into the gallery to have a look at the abstract art of Milan Mrkusich.?? I especially like the large blue one (which might be called 'darkness' or it might be called 'blue.).?? It reminded me of a galaxy far, far away.?? Very contemplative.?? #win

The first of my three muscial things was a short talk by David Downes on two of his short films.?? Since he was billed in the Music sesion of the Festival he concentrated on describing the sound/music side of the films.?? One of them was made up of everyday noises set to images.?? This influenced his second film 'Generation' which had a piano track at its core.?? I found it interesting to hear that he applied for the Creative NZ grant (who he thanked several times) because he'd been writing a lot of music for dance and was tired of not being able to control the dancers.?? He ended up playing the piano himself instead of hiring someone to do it for him.?? I'd like to hear him talk about the animation in the film too and whether the images came first or the music.?? He said that it was based on a poem he wrote a long time ago (the words are included in the film.) #win

A quick coffee stop then back to the Town Hall to watch "Breath of wind."?? After the very interesting Karlheinz Stockhausen's Helicopter String Quartet I was expecting interesting things from the 'sound and video work featuring 17 hot air balloons and the Levin Brass Band'.?? Shouldn't have got my hopes up.?? I think I stayed there as long as I did mostly from disbelief that it was anything other than filming a bunch of band members warming up while being drowned out by the roar of the balloon gas. Transfixed by the audacity.?? #wtfArt

My final show was a recital by Keith Lewis (tenor) and pianist Michael Houstoun (pianist).?? They covered 300 years of music.?? I have to be honest and say that it wasn't my bag.?? They were very talented and I did like some of the individual pieces.?? Favourites – the measured timing of the first piece "So when the glittering Queen of night" (Henry Purcell – realization by Benjamin Britten (don't know what that means);?? As it is plenty W.H. Auden (part of On this Island by Benjamin Britten (don't know what that means either.)?? They also performed the world premiere of 'Peaks of Cloud: a song cycle for tenor and piano; with poems by Janet Frame; composer Jenny McLeod.?? The women behind me loved it.?? The man sitting next to her didn't. (Hilariously he said that he guessed he had to move with the times and that he was from Timaru (a town with special significance for NZ Twitter users.))?? I didn't really like the dissonance but it might improve on a second listen (I very rarely like something on the first go. Usually it takes 3 or 4 .)?? My favourite from that set was the poem called "Lament for Lakes" which is in a made up language.?? (I'd like to hear what NZ rock bands could make of some of Frame's poems.) #meh

So interesting but not entirely successful.

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Auckland Choral – Song Number One

First up in the Auckland Choral 2010 season is their free concert “01 PESE MUAMUA” on this Sunday 7 March at 5pm at the Auckland Town Hall.  Pese Muamua means ‘song number one’. The choir will call ‘mua mua mua’— “let’s begin, let’s begin, let’s begin” — the words which are used in traditional Samoan singing to introduce a set of songs. This symbolises the beginning of all the ‘songs’ Auckland Choral will sing in 2010. 

I enjoyed my introduction to choral siging last year.  Why not get along and see if you’ll enjoy it too?  The Town Hall is definitely a great space to listen to the harmonies and melodies of all the voices.

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