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Dunedin Soundings
Place and Performance

Edited by Dan Bendrups and
Graeme Downes

Key Points

• Music-makers talk about their music and the theory behind it
• Diverse and interesting essays that share an underlying premise: that creative products articulate, or are articulated by, their place of production
• Detailed discussion by musicians, including sheet music examples

The Book

The 'Dunedin Sound' of the 1980s is a phenomenon known throughout the world. But what does Dunedin music-making sound like in the 21st century? Dunedin Soundings features writing from musicians, composers and scholar/practitioners. They discuss genres as diverse as brass band, opera, classical, Indonesian gamelan, jazz, rock and more, the intricacies of the composition and lyric-writing processes, digital remixing, and scoring for film and TV. Together, they reveal the ways in which these supposedly separate music fields have the potential to inform and stimulate each other.

The theoretical idea behind the book is that performance and composition practices constitute a process of research. The writers are practitioners who are recognised nationally and internationally for their contributions to New Zealand music across genres, including composer Anthony Ritchie, the Verlaines' Graeme Downes, Emmy-award nominee Trevor Coleman, and Refuel and founder Scott Muir.

This book is for everyone with a serious passion and wide-ranging intellectual curiosity for music, and anyone wanting an insider's glimpse into music-making in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Introduction: Dunedin Sounds, Dan Bendrups / 1 Practice and performance as research in the arts, Suzanne Little / 2 The creative artist as research practitioner, John Drummond / 3 Songwriting process in the Verlaines' album Corporate Moronic, Graeme Downes / 4 Southern gold bars: the gamelan community in Dunedin, Shelley D. Brunt and Henry Johnson / 5 Subject2Change: musical reassemblage in the jazz diaspora, Dan Bendrups and Robert G.H. Burns / 6 Remix culture and the new folk process, John Egenes / 7 Reflections from a reformed exile, Trevor Coleman / 8 A common thematic: seven songs by Anthony Ritchie, Anthony Ritchie / 9 The new brass band: stylistic pluralism and local vernacular, Peter Adams / 10 From history to opera: the story of William Larnach, John Drummond / 11 Songs of old Dunedin: a musical entrepreneurial journey, Judy Bellingham / 12 Music, community, and the creation of, Scott Muir


Dan Bendrups is Senior Lecturer in Music at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Brisbane. He plays the trombone and has performed in a wide range of contexts internationally. Graeme Downes is a freelance musicologist, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Music at the University of Otago and a member of acclaimed rock band the Verlaines.

Publication details

In-store: December 2011
Music Studies, New Zealand music
Paperback, 210 x 148 mm, 176 pp, b/w illustrations ISBN 978 1 877578 22 9, $40.00 / £27.50 UK