All episodes

The Secret Life of the Orchestra: Strings

We unlock the mystery of the heart of the orchestra, and learn how violinists came to be associated with the devil.   

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The Secret Life of the Orchestra: Woodwind

From snake charmers to bagpipes, from pan pipes to concert halls, this family has been causing controversy wherever it goes…for over 35,000 years.

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The Secret Life of the Orchestra: Percussion

Karl Steven explores one of the four families of orchestral instruments: percussion, finding out about how they work, their unusual pasts, and the players who devote their lives to them.

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The Secret Life of the Orchestra: Brass

Karl Steven explores one of the four families of orchestral instruments: brass, finding out about how they work, their unusual pasts, and the players who devote their lives to them.

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The Secret Life of Remixers

Sam Wicks talks to a selection of local remixers about unpacking the details of other musicians' work and repacking them into new shapes and sizes.

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The Secret Life of Ten Guitars

The story of the song Ten Guitars and its place on the hit parade of all-time Kiwi classics.

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The Secret Life of the Warm-Up DJ

The people at the turntables who pay their dues as musical fluffers to the star turn.

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The Secret Life of Piano Tuners

Piano tuning is a beautiful old art that requires a mathematical brain and a musical ear.

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The Secret Life of Loopers

Sam Wicks finds out more about the background and use of ‘band in a box’ item of equipment, and goes in search of resourceful local practitioners building sounds bigger than the sum of their parts.

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The Secret Life of Video Game Music Composers

From the simplest binary code ditties to huge orchestral scores with complex, interactive layers, video game soundtracks are integral to the action, emotion, and adrenaline levels of the gamer.

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The Secret Life of Skank

Nick Atkinson speaks to a DJ, an academic and several musicians to find out about the local take on this Jamaican sound, in The Secret Life of Skank.

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The Secret Life of the Musical Saw

Karl Steven investigates the world of the musical saw and digs out a couple of bona fide New Zealand saw players.

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The Secret Life of Music Publishers

We meet the matchmakers and debt-collectors of the music industry.

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The Secret Life of Rock Photographers

Sam Wicks talks to Raymond Sagapolutele, Milana Radojcic and Roger Grauwmeijer about getting the money shots.

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The Secret Life of Lyricists

Julie Hill asks musicians and music lovers about some of their favourite wordsmiths in song.

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The Secret Life of Left-Handed Musicians

Nick Atkinson talks to diverse range of sinistra (left handed) local musicians hoping to unearth the behavioural traits these creative souls share.

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The Secret Life of Bird Calls

Robin Nathan looks at the relationship between bird calls and music.

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The Secret Life of Bedroom Music Producers

Tony Stamp talks to Sam Scott from the Phoenix Foundation, A&R managers at EMI, Jonathan from The Brunettes/Lil Chief, the manager of York St recording studio, and tutors from the Music and Audio Institute of NZ.

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The Secret Life of Community Choirs

Julie Hill meets some of the voices from the Gay and Lesbian singers, The Auckland Welsh choir, and The Sing For Joy choir and talks to Stephen Taberner of the Spooky Mens' Chorale and Men in Suits.

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The Secret Life of The Ukulele

Musician Karl Steven investigates the toddler of stringed instruments, the fearsome ukulele, exploring its past, present, and future, with particular attention to its unique place here in the South Pacific

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The Secret Life of A&R

Traditionally the Artist & Repertoire - or A&R - person did the late nights in sweaty venues to uncover the 'next big thing' - new bands to sign to their record label. But these days record label budgets are being cut and alongside the advent of the internet, is the role of the A&R person dying out?

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The Secret Life of Wedding Singers and DJs

Sam Wicks goes behind the scenes of the wedding industry to talk to the folk that provide the music for marital knees-ups.

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The Secret Life of Saxophonists

Nick Atkinson, a saxophonist himself, sifts through the sediment of endless jazz-funk jams to discover a living breathing horn culture kept alive by a diverse tribe of local players.

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The Secret Life of Music Video Directors

Sam Wicks talks to directors Stuart Page, Joe Lonie and Andrew Morton about what goes into making a music video.

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The Secret Life of Audiophiles

Jose Barbosa and Tony Stamp infiltrate the homes of three self-confessed hi-fi nuts to find out what's behind the drive for perfect sound and how much they're prepared to pay for aural nirvana.

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