Navigation for Standing Room Only

We're all about mapping songs this afternoon - songs that take us from place to another and beyond because - first up on the show - you're invited to be part of mapping New Zealand's landmarks in a whole new way - if you come across a mention of a place, a geological feature or a building in a book you're reading, you can add it to the Great Map of New Zealand stories on our webpage.

After the one o'clock news, Dan Slevin's still minding At the Movies for Simon Morris. At 25 to two, the directors of two small and proudly independent music festivals on what it takes to survive in a fiercely competitive field, then a new opera the brings together Samoa's mythological and post missionary past with director Anapela Polataivao.

Our Laugh Track guest is comedian Josiah Day who took out the Best Newcomer title for 2018 - boredom he says is the secret to his success. At 25 past two - the country's newest early music ensemble, the Night Watch, ahead of its first outing, then we're back to the issue of trying to find ways to encourage more men to read books - meet two guys who head men's reading groups around the country. Ending that hour Stephanie Post of the Auckland Art Fair introduces us to which, amongst the varied New Zealand arts sites, looks to be a one stop shop for listing quality contemporary art exhiitions

In the Drama at 3 - the second and concluding part of Weed by Anthony McCarten and finally wonderfully versatile and affordable Papier Mache, essentially paper and glue which is easy to mould and paint, is the material of choice for Indian sculptor and artist, Bharati Pitre.



12:30 Getting on the map - places from New Zealand books

Aotearoa New Zealand's towns and cities, rivers and mountains, buildings and monuments - a map is being complied of these landmarks but this time, when they're mentioned in a book.

It's the latest literary project by Christchurch based organisation The Commuting Book that's already helping bus passengers read work by New Zealand author's while they're on board, just by scanning a code.

Magdalena Lorenzo says there are a couple of hundred entries so far on The Great Map of New Zealand Stories - and there's room for a lot more.

Here below are instructions on how to add to the map above. It joins Radio New Zealand's own map of placenames from New Zealand songs.

"Are you reading a book by an NZ author and set in a real NZ spot? Why not adding it to The Great Map of NZ Stories and help others discover the next best book.

  • "Click on "Add a NZ Book" or "Participate".
  • Sign in as a "Guest" or using your Facebook or Google account.
  • Upload a high-resolution image of the book cover.
  •  Add the title and author's name Tip: Type title using capitalization and add "by" to add the author's name: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.
  • Type the location: a lake or a river, a street or a neighbourhood, a well-known building or monument (might not be on the map but you can add the address). Tip: Zoom in and out and move locator around to find the most accurate location. Add NZL at the end of the spot if necessary.
  • Enter the book summary. Let us know what is about. Tip: Use a library catalogue or the publisher's web site to copy and paste the book summary. Name the source.
  • To enter more locations from the same book or from a new one repeat 3 to 6.

All entries are reviewed and only those meeting the criteria are accepted."


12:45 Come together: making independent music festivals work

How do New Zealand's many small music festivals with tiny budgets come up with programmes that will attract audiences? One way is co-operating rather than competing. Independent music festival directors Johnny Gibson and Gerry Paul have pooled resources for their festivals - Coastella on the Kapiti Coast and the Nostalgia Festival in Christchurch.

Nostalgia is on in Christchurch at Ferrymead Heritage Park on February 16,  Coastella at Southward's Car Museum on the Kapiti Coast February 23rd.

Coastella Festival co-founders Paul Brown and Gerry Paul started their venture in 2016, The pair reached out to Nostalgia festival organiser Johnny Gibson. They found that they shared many of the same values,  From creative collaboration to  event sustainability and uniting communities. Since then Johnny, Gerry and Paul have become mentors to each other, as well as sharing resources and skills between them.

This year festival goers in both cities, will be looking forward to catching two notable Australian acts; Mama Kin Spender and C.W. Stoneking, as well as acclaimed New Zealand band Trinity Roots. Gerry, who manages the music programming, works closely with the international artists to ensure their time in New Zealand is a unique and worthwhile experience. Both festivals value the importance of programming emerging local artists, shown this year through bands The Beths, The Miltones and Soaked Oats.

Their collaboration has been crucial in order for both festivals to survive in a highly competitive music event market. In 2018 New Year's eve festival Rhythm & Vines was sold to Live Nation, the world's largest live music company. Similarly, Wellington's Jim Beam Homegrown relies on a huge alcohol sponsor to keep it afloat. Coastella and Nostalgia are staunchly independent, which allows them to spend more time on creating boutique festival experiences for punters and musicians.


1:10 At The Movies

This week with Dan Slevin.


1:33 Creating Samoan Opera

Samoan-New Zealand opera singers like Jonathon Lemalu, Aivale Cole and the Sol3 Mio trio have forged international careers.But operatic harmonies aren't part of Samoa's music tradition - quite the opposite.

Pre-missionary Samoan music and mythologies are being woven in to a new Samoan opera - Alofagia:  Le Opera starring Sol3 Mio.

Seasoned writer and director Anapela Polataivao has worked with composer Poulima Salima to create a series of operatic vignettes for the opera that's being performed in South Auckland.

Drawing on ancient Samoan truths, echoing a time when Gods governed, this new opera is a summoning to re-imagine the Samoan leo (voice).

It'ss the second production staged by TAPA (Tautua Aiga of Performance Art), in association with Nathan Homestead, as part of the Homestead's annual Summer Theatre in the Gardens programme.

Alofagia: Le Opera premieres on Valentine's Day, the 14th of  February in South Auckland.


1:50 Bringing together early music

No caption

Photo: Provided

Forming a music ensemble is both an art and a science.It takes not only skill but some kind of psychic connection between the musicians to create on stage magic.

The country's newest early music ensemble The Night Watch is about to put on its first concert - Love Me Tender - so it's a nervewracking time for the musicians especially as they'll only have a few days for the musicians and singers to rehearse together. Cellist Imogen Granwal is responsible for gathering together the early music specialists. We spoke to her and to one of the other members of the group soprana Pepe Becker

The Night Watch presents its first concert Love Me Tender on Saturday 9 February in Greytown, and the next night in Wellington.


2:06 The Laugh Track - Josiah Day

No caption

Photo: Provided

Our guest today on the laugh Track is a rising star of the Auckand scene Josiah Day. Joasiah won the 2018 NZ Comedy Guild's best newcomer and best joke awards, the Mount Comedy Festival New Act Competition and was highly commended in the very competitive Raw Comedy Quest during the NZ Comedy Festival.

His tracks are Hannibal Buress, James Acaster, Ismo Liekola, Nate Bargatze and Mitch Hedberg.


2:25 What time we have left

Lana Petrović

Lana Petrović Photo: Provided

It's a popular scenario for writers and film makers - the earth's time is up. So knowing you only had a short time left to live, what would you choose to do?

In This Is How We're Gonna Die, Auckland playwright Lana Petrović draws on past flatting experiences to think about how a group of young people in 2019 might react and what their priorities might be. Lynn spoke to the play's director Kelly Gilbride and to Lana. This Is How We're Gonna Die premieres on the 19th of February as part of Auckland Fringe Festival.


2.40 Male Book Clubs

Last week we spoke to the New Zealand Book Council about its new initiative to find out why so many men aren't interested in reading books - a group of reluctant male readers are going to meet in a pub during the year to talk about what could get them hooked on reading.

There's another approach to this issue that's being trialled by non-profit organisation, Book Discussion Scheme - setting up men only book groups. There are 14 so far around the country and the men are also sharing their stories on the BDS webpag.

We hear from Megan Blakie about the scheme's long history and two of men she's done interviews with who run male book clubs: Peter Fergusson from Whakatane and Peter Swan who's based in Auckland.


2:50  Accessing the arts online

No caption

Photo: Provided

Being interested in art is one thing - but getting your head around what's on and what might most interest you when there are 100s of galleries of all sorts of different stripes in New Zealand - often not prominent in the street - is another.

The places to start used to be simple: your local newspaper provided listings of what was on to see near you. No longer. Outside art magazines, increasingly listings and advertising of all kinds have gone online - but into their own separate silos. So where do you go, and how can the majority of us keep in touch?

Stephanie Post is co-director of the Auckland Art Fair - a key place galleries introduce themselves to the public - but late last year she launched with Hayley White a directory of New Zealand galleries, exhibitions and events.

Artnow joins several other guides: Artsdiary (including image galleries of openings) and Art News New Zealand among them. Meanwhile international guide Ocula features some New Zealand galleries and was founded in Auckland.

While Art News New Zealand lists almost 200 galleries nationwide, Artnow, says Stephanie, will aim to have about  50 to 60.

“We tend to look at galleries who could or have considered participating at a sort of art fair type level. Its not a very clear distinction but its in order to ensure we have if you like some sort of guarantee of quality - so that if an international visitor arrives in Wellington and says 'I want to see some really good art' they arrive at somewhere which is either publicly funded or is properly representing artists in a way that looks after their careers as well as sells their work."

Stephanie talked to Mark Amery about why she feels another art listings service was needed.

3:06 Drama at 3 - Weed

It's the second part of Anthony McCarten's play Weed featuring Grant Tilly as Jack and Michael Haigh as Henry - the same actors who toured the successful stage play around New Zealand.   

Jack and Henry are middle aged Awakino farmers  who turn to the illegal 'waccy baccy' as a high-revenue cash-crop when sheep farming fails to shield them from an economic downturn. With the help of university drop-out, Hugh, they begin their furtive foray into 'alternative' agriculture - their seedlings were planted out to grow and mature - and now, we pick up the story 6 months later.


3.45 Bharati Pitrie - sculpting with Papier Mâché

The wonderfully versatile and affordable Papier Mâché, essentially paper and glue that's easy to mould and paint, is the material of choice for Indian sculptor and artist Bharati Pitre.

With it she creates curious animal-human hybrids.