26 May 2013

New Zealand Women Composers

From Composer of the Week, 9:15 am on 26 May 2013

Gillian WhiteheadClaire CowanVictoria KellyLeonie HolmesjennyMcLeodEve de Castro Robinson

Images [left to right]: Gillian Whitehead, Claire Cowan, Victoria Kelly, Leonie Holmes, Jenny McLeod, Eve de Castro-Robinson. Source: Gareth Watkins / Lilburn Trust / Wallace Arts Trust

Elizabeth Kerr looks at four generations of New Zealand Women Composers and their works. She discusses the vitality of women’s composition in New Zealand and compares the current situation to the year 1993, the suffrage centenary. At that time, Kerr was involved in setting up Composing Women’s Festivals in New Zealand and she found women composers felt somewhat marginalised. Do they still?

“In accepting an invitation to talk about our country’s women composers in order to mark 120 Years of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, I am in fact accepting an invitation to celebrate a political event with a political statement, one about gender politics. It’s the kind of statement many feel uncomfortable about. Why do we need a programme and a week that singles out women composers at all?” - Elizabeth Kerr – Composers of the Week.

In putting together a group of composers because they are New Zealand women are we constructing a group? Kerr asks us to listen to the programme and to ask, “is there a discernible female voice in the music of our composers?”

Music Details:

BUCHANAN: Olivia, from Five Vignettes of Women - Bel Canto, Burnside High School/ Susan Densem (RNZ)
FRANCHI: The Blacksmith’s Wife, from Four Pioneer Portraits - Margaret Medlyn (mezzo), Bruce Greenfield (pno) (Kiwi SLD 110)
MCLEOD: For Seven - Lontano/ Odaline de la Martinez (Lorelt LNT 116)
MCLEOD: Tone Clock piece No 10 - Diedre Irons (pno) (Waiteata WTA 005)
WHITEHEAD: The Journey of Maruku Moana - Georg Pedersen (cello) (Tall Poppies TP 129)
WHITEHEAD: Alice - Helen Medlyn (mezzo), Auckland Philharmonia/ Miguel Harth-Bedoya (RNZ)
LOCKWOOD: Popina to Rasova, from A Sound map of the Danube - Annea Lockwood (tape) (Lovely Music LCD 2083)
LOCKWOOD: In our name - Thomas Buckner (baritone), Theodore Mook (microtuned cello), tape (New World Records 80729)
BUCHANAN: Century fanfare, Peace - Auckland Philharmonia/ Miguel Harth-Bedoya (Sounzfine Vol 5)
BOWATER: New Year Fanfare - NZSO/ Kenneth Young (Atoll-Move MD 3327)
KER: …and… - Lontano/ Odaline de la Martinez (Lorelt LNT 126)
CASTRO-ROBINSON:  and the garden - Gao Ping (piano/vocalisations) (RNZ)
PALMER: Five - Toca Loca (Sourced from itunes)
HOLMES: Through Coiled Stillness - University of Auckland Chamber Choir (University of Auckland)
KELLY: Opening Credits, Under the Mountain - NZSO/ Marc Taddei (Moviescore 128588)
COWAN: Legend of the Trojan Bird - NZSO/ Hamish McKeich (RNZ)
HAY: Part/s - Anna McGregor, Debbie Rawson (cl) (Waiteara WTA 011)
BALLARD: Bitter Hill - NZSO/ Tecwyn Evans (RNZ)


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