SOUNZ, the Centre for New Zealand Music, has a fantastic new addition to their website - www.sounz.org.nz. Until now you have had three ways to explore New Zealand music - via browsing the music, the people or the events. Now, with thanks to NZ On Air, you can actually experience it.
This is a great new addition, here is why. No matter how amazing a piece of new New Zealand music is, people always seem to be cautious about grabbing hold of it and giving it a life. Looking at a sample score often doesn't allow you to imagine it, reading about it or hearing from somebody else that it is a great piece doesn't help either. To give you confidence you really need to have experienced the music yourself.
With this new addition you can do exactly that, view videos and experience the music - see the mallets moving, see the staging, feel the atmosphere and be introduced to new music in comfort. Chris Watson, a New Zealand composer, knocks it on the head by saying:
"I think moving pictures are, short of getting bums on seats in concert halls, the most effective way of communicating contemporary composition – and the YouTube/Vimeo paradigm provides an international, 24/7 audience."
Of course composers with their own websites have been implementing video for some time, but for New Zealand music to have a central resource where you can put your feet up and experience the music is fantastic.
This new addition is aligned with two other projects: digitisation of audio held by Radio New Zealand Concert - a joint project between the Alexander Turnbull Library, Radio New Zealand and SOUNZ. And Resound, which is reactivating recording licences and auditioning them to get them on to Radio New Zealand Concert and making them available online such as on the SOUNZ website. Excellent!
So, go experience.