Recent classical music additions

This week in classical music we have three new CDs featuring a wealth of well-loved composers, from Tchaikovsky through Rameau to Schumann, and Piazzolla and Scott Joplin for good measure.

Intuition. Performed by Gautier Capuçon.
Intuition, a captivating album of short pieces for solo cello with piano or orchestra, has been conceived by Gautier Capuçon to ‘reflect the story of my life and follow the various stages in my emotional development’. It brings together much-loved numbers by composers such as Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Massenet, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Elgar with newer music by Astor Piazzolla, the Italian cellist Giovanni Sollima and the pianist Jérôme Ducros, who also appears on the album. As Gautier Capuçon says: ‘In music,in life, communication is the essence of everything and of anything … You share something.'” (amazon.co.uk).

Quartets Nos. 2 & 3, Schumann. Performed by the Elias Quartet.
“‘We have always had a special affection for Robert Schumann’s Third Quartet. It’s one of the first works we played together. Since then we have often come back to it, as if to a splendid and familiar region that we think we know thoroughly, but which yields up new secrets with each visit. The Second Quartet, on the other hand, was a much later and more complicated discovery for us. The writing is so personal, so unidiomatic for the instruments, so full of nuances, that to begin with we found it hard to come up with a unanimous voice for this work. The enthusiasm of the first movement can easily turn into anxiety if you push it a bit too far. In the slow movement, the texture is sometimes so bare that to convey its tenderness you have to sustain it with great fervour. The capricious Scherzo is bristling with rhythmic pitfalls and requires a diabolical mastery of the instruments,while the Finale is an endless explosion of joy!'” (Elias Quartet via amazon.co.uk)

Enfers: Famous Opera Scenes & Pygmalion, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Christoph Willibald von Gluck, Raphaël Pichon. Performed by Stéphane Degout.
“Raphaël Pichon has invited Stéphane Degout to make his recording debut for Harmonia Mundi in a multifaceted exploration of the underworld. The French baritone reincarnates the figure of Henri Larrivée, the famous tragedian of Rameau and Gluck. Around a reconstruction of an imaginary Mass of the Dead, sacred and secular merge, revealing some of the most extraordinary pieces from the operatic repertory of the enlightenment. Music of death and mourning on an epic scale that inspires Pygmalion to overwhelming heights of pathos.” (cover).

Interesting new non-fiction books

Beginning with Why Things Are Better Than You Think, and ending with In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It, the books in between look at the poverty of the working class, the increasing inequality suffered by the middle class, and many others.

Syndetics book coverFactfulness : Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
“When asked simple questions about global trends– what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school –we systematically get the answers wrong. In Factfulness, Hans Rosling offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. Our problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases. It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn’t mean there aren’t real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new urban crisis : how our cities are increasing inequality, deepening segregation, and failing the middle class– and what we can do about it / Richard Florida.
“In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet all is not well, Richard Florida argues in The New Urban Crisis. Florida demonstrates how the same forces that power the growth of the world’s superstar cities also generate their vexing challenges: gentrification, unaffordability, segregation, and inequality. Meanwhile, many more cities still stagnate, and middle-class neighborhoods everywhere are disappearing. Our winner-take-all cities are just one manifestation of a profound crisis in today’s urbanized knowledge economy.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMeet the Frugalwoods : achieving financial independence through simple living / Elizabeth Willard Thames.
“In 2014, Liz Thames and her husband, Nate, were conventional young urban professionals working nine-to-five jobs. Determined to retire as early as possible in order to start living each day–as opposed to wishing time away working for the weekends–they enacted a plan to save as much money as they could. In less than three years, Liz and Nate reached their goal. Today they are financially independent and living out their dream with their young daughters on a sixty-six acre homestead in the woods of Vermont.” (adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverBroke and patriotic : why poor Americans love their country / Francesco Duina.
“Why are poor Americans so patriotic? They have significantly worse social benefits compared to other Western nations, and studies show that the American Dream of upward mobility is, for them, largely a myth. So why do these people love their country? Why have they not risen up to demand more from a system that is failing them? In Broke and Patriotic, Francesco Duina contends that the best way to answer these questions is to speak directly to America’s most impoverished. Spending time in bus stations, Laundromats, senior citizen centers, homeless shelters, public libraries, and fast food restaurants, Duina conducted over sixty revealing interviews in which his participants explain how they view themselves and their country.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover“We are all fast-food workers now” : the global uprising against poverty wages / Annelise Orleck.
“Tracing a new labor movement sparked and sustained by low-wage workers from across the globe, We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now is an urgent, illuminating look at globalization as seen through the eyes of workers-activists: small farmers, fast-food servers, retail workers, hotel housekeepers, home-healthcare aides, airport workers, and adjunct professors who are fighting for respect, safety, and a living wage. With original photographs by Liz Cooke and drawing on interviews with activists in many US cities and countries around the world, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mexico, South Africa, and the Philippines, it features stories of resistance and rebellion, as well as reflections on hope and change as it rises from the bottom up.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe patterning instinct : a cultural history of humanity’s search for meaning / Jeremy Lent.
“Taking the reader on an archaeological exploration of the mind, the author, an entrepreneur and sustainability leader, uses recent findings in cognitive science and systems theory to reveal the hidden layers of values that form today’s cultural norms. By shining a light on our possible futures, the book foresees a coming struggle between two contrasting views of humanity: one driving to a technological endgame of artificially enhanced humans, the other enabling a sustainable future arising from our intrinsic connectedness with each other and the natural world. This struggle, it concludes, is one in which each of us will play a role through the meaning we choose to forge from the lives we lead.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe line becomes a river / Francisco Cantú.
“Cantú: the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners are posted to remote regions crisscrossed by drug routes and smuggling corridors, where they learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive. Cantú tries not to think where the stories go from there. Plagued by nightmares, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the whole story.” (adapted from publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverMicrotrends Squared : The New Small Forces Driving the Big Disruptions Today
“Ten years after his bestseller Microtrends, Mark Penn identifies the next wave of trends reshaping the future of business, politics, and culture. Mark Penn has boldly argued that the future is not shaped by society’s broad forces but by quiet changes within narrow slices of the population. Ten years ago, he showed how the behavior of one small group can exert an outsized influence over the whole of America. Today, the world is in perplexing upheaval, and microtrends are more influential than ever.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe doomsday machine : confessions of a nuclear war planner / Daniel Ellsberg.
“Here, for the first time, former high level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking first-hand account of America’s nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization–and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration–threatens our very survival.” (adapted from publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverHow we met : the ways great love begins… / Michèle A’Court.
How We Met is based on a collection of ‘How We Met’ stories – those lovely stories couples love to tell (and we all love to hear) about how they got together. The author’s theory: that these stories of how couples meet – the romantic, absurd, serendipitous, convoluted, scandalous, breath-taking moments of connection – help to weave their lives together. Partly as ‘proof’ that they were meant to begin this couple-journey, and also because in each retelling they go back to those first falling-in-love feelings and rekindle the passion.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn conclusion, don’t worry about it / Lauren Graham.
If you’re kicking yourself for not having accomplished all you should have by now, don’t worry about it. Even without any ‘big’ accomplishments yet to your name, you are enough.
In this expansion of the 2017 commencement speech she gave at her hometown Langley High, Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, reflects on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here and now.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Celebrating ceramics: New Craft books

The interest and demand for bright colour and bold pattern ceramics have made them popular again and this selection of books with recent works and some clay and glaze recipes reflects on their appreciation.

Syndetics book coverFlowstones : beautiful creations from polymer clay / Amy Goldin.
“Conceived of by artist Amy Goldin, “flowstones” are crafted by molding a sheet of polymer clay around a smooth river rock. They impart a sense of calm to the holder, grounded by the weight and soothed by the smooth surface. Each stone’s unique shape and pattern gives it a beauty all its own. In Flowstones, Goldin shares beautiful photographs of the many stones she has created, captured in nature, where their striking appearance contrasts with landscapes of smooth river rocks, grassy parks, and sandy beaches.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUrban potters : makers in the city / Katie Treggiden ; edited by Micha Pycke & Ruth Ruyffelaere.
“Clay is back: the age-old craft of ceramics is being embraced by a new generation of urban makers and collectors–and by interior designers. Here, Katie Treggiden explores the contemporary revival of pottery, focusing on six inspiring cities and their makers. Twenty-five young and passionate ceramicists in New York, London, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Sydney, and Sao Paulo introduce us to their work, their studios, and their inspiration.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVitamin C : clay + ceramic in contemporary art / Louisa Elderton and Rebecca Morrill, editors.
Vitamin C celebrates the revival of clay as a material for contemporary visual artists, featuring a wide range of global talent as selected by the world’s leading curators, critics, and art professionals. Clay and ceramics have in recent years been elevated from craft to high art material, with the resulting artworks being coveted by collectors and exhibited in museums around the world. Packed with illustrations, Vitamin C is a vibrant and incredibly timely survey – the first of its kind.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSurface decoration / Kevin Millward.
“This step-by-step guide will encourage the reader to explore the full range of surface treatment techniques and help them to give a professional finish to their work by guiding them to an appropriate finish choice. Surface Decoration looks at all manner of surface decoration techniques, at every stage of the ceramic process and from a practical perspective explains how to achieve these effects. This is the perfect guide for any ceramic artist interested in exploring new surface decoration techniques.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMid-century modern : living with mid-century modern design / Judith Miller.
“From the ‘soft modernism’ of Scandinavian furniture, to the sleek clean lines of the lighting created by the Castiglione brothers in Italy, all the iconic designs and designers of the period are featured in this guide to one of the most exciting periods of design history. The careers and influence of groundbreaking designers, including Charles and Ray Eames, Alvar Aalto, Robin and Lucienne Day, Georg Jensen, Anne Jacobsen and many others, are described in stand-alone feature pages. This invaluable book explores the most desirable furniture, ceramics, glass, metalware, interiors, and textiles from the late 1930s through to the early 1960s.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New CDs in our AV collection

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection including the new albums by Franz Ferdinand and Calexico. The fantastic 3 CD box set How is the Air Up There? offers 80 recordings from more than 50 New Zealand’s artists in the 60s and should not be missed.

Nils Frahm – All melody
“For the past two years, Nils Frahm has been building a brand new studio in Berlin to make his 7th studio album titled All Melody. Since the day Nils first encountered the impressive studio of a family friend, he had envisioned to create one of his own at such a large scale. It is here where he has spent most of his time deconstructing and reconstructing the entire space from the cabling and electricity to the woodwork, before moving on to the finer elements; building a pipe organ and creating a mixing desk all from scratch. All Melody is, in fact, proof that music is limitless, timeless, and reflects that of Nils’ own capabilities. From a boy’s dream to resetting the parameters of music itself.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Calexico – The thread that keeps us
“The ninth studio album from Calexico, The Thread That Keeps Us is a timely snapshot of the Arizona-bred band: a family portrait capturing their stylistic variety and unpredictability while still finding solace in limitless creativity. In bringing the album to life, vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino found a spiritual home in unusual surroundings—not in Arizona, but on the Northern California coast in a home-turned-studio called the Panoramic House.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Justin Timberlake – Man of the woods
“The fifth studio album by pop superstar Justin Timberlake. Man Of The Woods was produced by Timberlake, The Neptunes, Timbaland, Danja, Eric Hudson, and Rob Knox. As with FutureSex/LoveSounds, recording sessions for the album were loose and had multiple studios open for work.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

Franz Ferdinand – Always ascending
“Franz Ferdinand present the new album Always Ascending. Nothing short of a rebirth, the album’s 10 songs are a triumphant recasting of the group, bursting with fresh ideas and vigorous sonic experimentation. Always Ascending was recorded at RAK Studios, London and Motorbass in Paris, with the help of French producer extraordinaire Philippe Zdar (Cassius, Phoenix, The Beastie Boys), the mutual affection between band and producer seeping into every dazzling groove.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

How is the air up there? : 80 mod, soul, RnB & freakbeat nuggets from Down Under
“Inspired by The Looking Series collections on RPM of UK 60s Nuggets, we now look in the world mirror at New Zealand. For the latest in the RPM/Frenzy Music collaborations, following sets from Larry’s Rebels, The Fourmyula, Ray Columbus, The Dave Miller Set, and the Girl Group Sound down-under on Come and See Me, we explore the mid 60’s club scene and the various classic singles tailored for that scene.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Revolutionary spirit : the sound of Liverpool 1976-1988
“Features classics, rarities, album tracks and previously unreleased gems from Echo And The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, OMD, The La’s, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Dead Or Alive, China Crisis, A Flock Of Seagulls, Wild Swans, Big In Japan and many more.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Woody Guthrie : the tribute concerts
“Exclusive 3-CD set accompanied by two beautifully illustrated books containing historic liner notes and Guthrie biography, original concert reviews and photographs, attendees interviews and artists bios, and concert ephemera. Two ”Tribute to Woody Guthrie” concerts were planned after Woody Guthrie’s death on October 3, 1967: at New York City’s Carnegie Hall on January 20th, 1968, and at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on September 12, 1970. Appearing at the January concert were Judy Collins, Bob Dylan with members of The Band, Richie Havens, Tom Paxton. Appearing in Los Angeles were Joan Baez, Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Odetta, Country Joe McDonald, Richie Havens, Earl Robinson and Pete Seeger.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Jethro Tull – Heavy horses : new shoes edition
“Disc 1 contains the Steven Wilson stereo remix of the original album plus previously unreleased material (CD). Discs 2 and 3 contain Jethro Tull’s live performance in Berne, Switzerland, May 1978, remixed in stereo by Jacko Jakszyk (CD). Disc 4 contains the DVD audio of the full Heavy Horses album, with 7 additonal tracks, mixed in 5.1 DTS & DD surround sound and 96/24 LPCM stereo (DVD). Disc 5 contains the DVD audio of Jethro Tull live at The Festhalle, Berne, Switzerland.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Let’s Boogie: Dance movies

NZ Dance Week is coming up (April 21 – 29) and Central Library is offering some evening events to celebrate it. For more details about the events, see our NZDW blog post. To get you in the mood, check out these DVDs and get ready to boogie!


La la land / Summit Entertainment presents ; a Damien Chazelle film.
“Mia, an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and Sebastian, a jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail party gigs in dingy bars, but as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Billy Elliot : the musical live from London’s West End.
“Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984/’85 miner’s strikes. Billy’s journey takes him out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and whole community and changes his life forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Hip hop-eration / Inkubator in association with The New Zealand Film Commission present.
“These senior citizens may each be almost a century young, but for Kara, (94) Maynie, (95) and Terri (93), the journey to Las Vegas and the World Hip Hop Dance Championships is just the beginning of a life’s journey. Along with twenty-four other nonagenarians they defy the odds and hip-hop their way into the hearts and minds of thousands of young fans from around the world. Along the way we hear how these extraordinary characters contributed to New Zealand as we know it. Their stories are a reminder of our history as a nation and the joy of living life to the fullest.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPina [videorecording] / HanWay Films presents a Neue Road Movies production ; choreography, Pina Bausch ; written, directed & produced by Wim Wenders.
“A film about the life and work of Pina Bausch, dancer and choreographer, who died in 2009 which features some of her greatest choreographies as performed by her Tanztheater Wuppertal ensemble.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The red shoes [videorecording] / written, directed & produced by Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger.
“Film of the ballet based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of a young girl who cannot stop thinking about her red dancing shoes. In this modern version, Vicky Page finds herself caught between simple human passion and artistic devotion to the ballet.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSwing time [videorecording] / directed by George Stevens.
“Fred Astaire plays a gambler intent on raising $25,000 in New York in order to marry his fiance back home. Romantic complications occur when he meets dancing teacher, Ginger Rogers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The dancer
“French singer/actress Soko and Lily-Rose Depp lead a star-studded cast in Stephanie Di Giustos spectacularly mounted screen biography, inspired by the true story of two rival pioneers of modern dance and theatrical performance in late 19th-century Paris. Nothing in her background destined Loe Fuller (Soko) to become the toast of the Belle Epoque cabarets or to perform at the Paris Opera. However, meeting with Isadora Duncan (Depp) a beautiful young prodigy hungry for glory that threatened everything.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Shall we dance? [videorecording].
“A middle-aged workaholic’s incredibly dull life takes a funny turn when he signs up for a ballroom dance class–just to meet the sexy dance teacher. But when he finally muscles up the nerve for lessons, he winds up with a different instructor and her colorfully eccentric class of beginners! And now he’ll have to step lightly and do some fancy footwork if he expects to keep his new secret passion from his family and friends.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Footloose [videorecording] / Paramount Pictures presents a Daniel Melnick production.
“A city boy comes to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Black swan [videorecording] / a film by Darren Aronofsky.
“Nina is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company. When artistic director Thomas Leroy decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: new dancer Lily, who impresses Leroy as well. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side – a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

NZDW 2018 - Dance movies

New movies and shows for you to enjoy!

These new DVDs have a biographical theme with TV show The Durrells, Goodbye Christopher Robin (about children’s author A. A. Milne), Battle of the sexes (featuring the 1973 tennis match between women’s world champion Billie Jean King and ex-men’s-champ Bobby Riggs) & A Quiet Passion (Emily Dickinson); NZ tinged Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok; acclaimed animation with My Life as a Zucchini; and the latest season of historical romance Outlander.

The Durrells. Series two.
“The Durrells sees impoverished but sparky widow Louisa Durrell make the radical decision to seek out a new destiny for her family when her options in late 1930’s England seem to be limited to struggling on or marrying a wealthy but dreary older man. Concerned that the lives of her four ‘children’, ranging in age from 11 to 21, are heading down the wrong track, she relocates her reluctant brood to a dilapidated house in the Greek sun.” (Syndetics summary)

Justice League.
“Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes it may already be too late to save the planet form an assault of catastrophic proportions.” (Syndetics summary)

Thor. Ragnarok.
“Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.” (Syndetics summary)

My life as a Zucchini.
“After losing his mother, a young boy is sent to a foster home with other orphans his age where he begins to learn the meaning of trust and true love.” (Syndetics summary)

A quiet passion.
“The story of poet Emily Dickinson, whose genius, wit, intellectual independence, and pathos only came to be recognized after her death.” (Syndetics summary)

Battle of the sexes.
“In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between women’s world champion Billie Jean King and ex-men’s-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles.” (Syndetics summary)

Goodbye Christopher Robin.
“A rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie the Pooh. Along with his mother Daphne, and his nanny Olive, Christopher Robin and his family are swept up in the international success of the books; the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War. But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family?” (Syndetics summary)

Madame.
“Adding a little spice to a waning marriage, Anne and Bob, a wealthy and well-connected American couple, move into a manor house in romantic Paris. While preparing a particularly luxurious dinner for sophisticated international friends, our hostess discovers there are 13 guests. Panic-stricken, Anne insists her loyal maid Maria disguise herself as a mysterious Spanish noble woman to even out the numbers. But a little too much wine and some playful chat lead Maria to accidentally endear herself to a dandy British art broker. Their budding romance will have Anne chasing her maid around Paris and finally plotting to destroy this most unexpected and joyous love affair.” (Syndetics summary)

Detroit.
“Amidst the chaos of the Detroit Rebellion, with the city under curfew and as the Michigan National Guard patrolled the streets, three young African American men were murdered at the Algiers Motel.” (Syndetics summary)

Outlander. Season three.
“The third season picks up right after Claire (Caitriona Balfe) travels through the stones to return to her life in 1948. Now pregnant with Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) child, she struggles with the fallout of her sudden reappearance and its effect on her marriage to her first husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies). Meanwhile, in the 18th century, Jamie suffers from the aftermath of his doomed last stand at the historic battle of Culloden, as well as the loss of Claire. As the years pass, Jamie and Claire attempt to make a life apart from one another, each haunted by the memory of their lost love. The budding possibility that Claire can return to Jamie in the past breathes new hope into Claire’s heart… as well as new doubt. Separated by continents and centuries, Claire and Jamie must find their way back to each other. As always, adversity, mystery, and adventure await them on the path to reunion. And the question remains: When they find each other, will they be the same people who parted at the standing stones, all those years ago?” (Syndetics summary)

Modern Bodies: The Best of Dance Biographies

No art form better captures the passion and politics of humanity than dance. From the Soviet-American ballet rivalry of the Cold War to the rise of Lindy Hop in 1920s Harlem to the emergence of waacking from the LGBTQI clubs of 1970s LA, dance explores—and occasionally crosses—boundaries of nation, culture, gender and sexuality. New Zealand is no exception, and as part this year’s Dance Week we’ve got Dancing Through the Pages, a series of talks and performances by Wellington-based dancers and artists. And if you can’t wait until then, we’ve also got some great dance biographies, from Vaslav Nijinsky to Michael Jackson and beyond!


Syndetics book coverNijinsky / Lucy Moore.
“The first major biography for forty years tells the tragic story of ballet’s great revolutionary, Nijinsky. ‘He achieves the miraculous,’ the sculptor Auguste Rodin wrote of Vaslav Nijinsky. He embodies all the beauty of classical frescoes and statues. Like so many since, Rodin recognised that in Nijinsky classical ballet had one of the greatest and most original artists of the twentieth century, in any genre.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverModern bodies : dance and American modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey / Julia L. Foulkes.
“In 1930, dancer and choreographer Martha Graham proclaimed the arrival of “dance as an art of and from America.” Through their art, modern dancers challenged conventional roles and images of gender, sexuality, race, class and regionalism. Modern Bodies exposes the social dynamics that moved modern dance to the edges of society, a place both provocative and perilous.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverJosephine Baker / written by José-Louis Bocquet ; art by Catel Muller ; historical consultant, Jean-Claude Bouillon-Baker.
“Josephine Baker was 19 years old when she found herself in Paris for the first time. Overnight, the young American dancer became the idol of the Roaring Twenties, captivating Picasso, Cocteau, Le Corbusier and Simenon. After World War II, Baker devoted herself to the struggle against racial segregation, battling the humiliations she had for so long suffered. She would sing of love and liberty until the day she died.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverHe’s got rhythm : the life and career of Gene Kelly / Cynthia Brideson & Sara Brideson.
“He sang and danced in the rain, proclaimed New York to be a wonderful town and convinced a group of Parisian children that they had rhythm. One of the most influential and respected entertainers of Hollywood’s golden age, Gene Kelly revolutionized film musicals with his innovative and timeless choreography.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverDarcey Bussell / Darcey Bussell.
“Darcey Bussell is widely considered to be one of the greatest English ballerinas of all time. Her stellar career spanned two decades of magnificent dance where she worked with Dame Margot Fonteyn, observed an aging Nureyev, crossed swords with rival prima ballerina Sylvie Guillem, argued the finer points of technique with Sir Kenneth MacMillan and danced for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverMoonwalk / Michael Jackson.
Moonwalk is the only book about his life that Michael Jackson ever wrote. It chronicles his humble beginnings in the Midwest, his early days with the Jackson 5 and his unprecedented solo success.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverAmerica dancing : from the cakewalk to the moonwalk / Megan Pugh.
“An exuberant history of American dance, told through the lives of virtuoso performers who have defined the art. The history of American dance reflects the nation’s tangled culture. Dancers from wildly different backgrounds learned, imitated and stole from one another. Audiences everywhere embraced the result as deeply American.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverRemembering Nureyev : the trail of a comet / Rudi van Dantzig ; translation by Katie de Haan.
“Famously volatile, fickle in his passions for people, but with astonishing charisma onstage and off, Rudolf Nureyev is regarded as one of the greatest male ballet dancers of the twentieth century. This is a book balletomanes cannot miss, with an eagle-eyed sharpness that never dissolves into hagiography or gossip.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

A reminder about RBdigital & Zinio for Libraries change

A reminder that the Zinio for Libraries app will be replaced by RBdigital tomorrow (April 17 2018). Your login will remain the same and you won’t lose titles you’ve already checked out.

Have you tried the new RBdigital app? It’s available to download from your app store and is the new app for reading our Zinio (now-renamed RBdigital) magazine collection.  It has some great features — see our previous blog post.

If you open your existing Zinio for Libraries app, you will be prompted to download the new app, or depending on your device, visit your app store from these links: iOS | Google Play. Alternatively, search for “RBdigital” in the app store, if you’re not reading this on your device.

Originally, RBDigital planned to stop access to Zinio to Libraries in 2017, but to give library patrons more time to make the switch, they extended the changeover period.

Download the new app and have a look round. There is a basic, but comprehensive help feature inside the app to get you started, or click on the image below for a quick guide to getting started.

Kōrero with Morrie Love of the Tenths Trust at Central Library

On Friday 27 April (12:30pm),  Morrie Love, chairman of Wellington Tenths Trust will present Stories behind the Māori place names of Te Whanganui-a-Tara  / Wellington (harbour)

Whatu  Ngarongaro  He  Tangata,  Toitū  He  Whenua

Man disappears but the land remains

In the early 1800s the stories behind the naming of the land in Te Whanganui-a-Tara were often sourced to Te  Whatahoro Jury and three women  –  Ngarimu Mawene,  Mere Ngamai and Rangiwahia Te Puni.

Te  Whatahoro  Jury

Hoani Te Whatahoro Jury
Hoani Te Whatahoro Jury. Ref: 1/2-024828. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23175005

Te Whatahoro Jury was born 1841 in Hawkes Bay — his father worked for William Williams.  In 1842 the family moved to Wairarapa.  He became a scribe to Te Matorohanga and Nepia Pohuhu and was charged with recording tribal traditions on behalf of his iwi.  Some of this material was used later, by Elsdon Best, T. W. Downes, S. Percy Smith and John White.  He married seven times.  He died 1923 and is buried at Papawai cemetery.

Ngarimu  Mawene  Hohua

Ngarimu Mawene is listed in documents held at Te Papa. Ngarimu Mawene may have been connected to Hohua Te Atuawera and Hariata Mawene, with links therefore Te Ngatoro and  (first?) husband, Wakairianiwa.  Te Ngatoro was, in turn, a daughter to Aniwaniwa and Tawhirikura.  It is said that, as a young girl, Ngarimu danced on the beach at Pito-one as the “Tory Pioneers” arrived in 1839.[1]

Mere  Kapa  Ngamai  I

Mere Kapa Ngamai I was the daughter of Rawiri Kowheta and Maweuweu.

She married, firstly James Harrison, and their children were James Te Tana Harrison and Mere Kapa Ngamai II.  Mere later married Wi Tako Ngatata.  She was also known as Mere Ngawai o Te Wharepouri.

Mere was a well-known composer — two of her compositions which have survived:

(Link is to Legends of the Māori.  Vol. I / James Cowan)

Rangi  Te  Puni

Wairau April 1851, Charles Gold
Gold, Charles Emilius, 1809-1871 : Wairau April 1851. Ref: A-329-014. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23236682

Rangi Te Puni is believed to have been born in Waipa Valley, with links to Tainui and Ngāti Rārua. She succeeded to land at Te Tau Ihu o te Waka. Rangiwahia,(Rangiwhaia) was the daughter of Rangitakaia, and grandchild of Hinehape.[2] Rangiwahia was the wife of Henare Te Puni, who in turn was the son of Honiana Te Puni and Wikitoria Muri-tu-waka-roto.

[Whakapapa of Aperaham Huritapae: Nelson MB, 13/6/89 / [WMB  NO. 3, P. 39]

James  Cowan

James Cowan at his desk, writing
James Cowan at his desk, writing. Ruscoe, Ivan, fl 1990s : Photographs relating to James Cowan. Ref: PAColl-5877-5. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22311747

James Cowan has written about Māori place names  of Te Whanganui-a-Tara in the Evening Post, 1912. These are available on PapersPast, in the Evening Post:

Cowan’s kōrero has been reproduced, also, in Pat Lawlor‘s book:

Old Wellington Days.  Chapter 8:  James Cowan and his Wellington Place-names.

Old Wellington Days, by Pat Lawlor
Old Wellington Days, by Pat Lawlor

Threads are picked up again in:

A list of Māori place names of Te Whanganui-a-Tara  concludes Elsdon Best’s The land of Tara.  Here is a map from that book.

The Land of Tara, by Elsdon Best
The Land of Tara, by Elsdon Best

Te Whatahoro Jury’s work in transcribing  oral histories possibly, formed a basis for stories in Elsdon Best’s – The land of Tara, published first in the Journal of the Polynesian Society, and then in book form, 1919.

Best’s list of names was revised and greatly expanded by G Leslie Adkin in:

The great harbour of Tara : traditional Māori place-names and sites of Wellington harbour and environs / G Leslie Adkin (1959)

The Great Harbour of Tara, by G. Leslie Adkin

Surveyors

Māori have long had an interest in the spiritual value of land: it pervades their sense of identity and how they relate to others. But land is also the foundation of their survival, in economic as well as cultural terms [3]

Book Jacket for: Boundary markers : land surveying and the colonisation of New ZealandBoundary markers : land surveying and the colonisation of New Zealand / Byrnes, Giselle

Giselle Byrnes, writing of surveyors as Pākehā boundary markers, shows that these men were also naming the land, and “owning” the whenua for their colonial government in a way that parallels the Māori concept of Tapa Whenua.

 

Boundary markers suggest that the surveyors colonised the land through language, literally inscribing it with new meanings and ways of seeing:  place naming and mapping are perhaps the best examples of this [4]

For Māori, in oral tradition, naming the land was essential for defining  iwi and  hapū boundaries. Sites of tribal significance — maunga, awa, moana  then become key elements in kawa o te marae, and  whanaungatanga, in rituals of encounter, where politeness decrees that you ask not “ko wai koe?/ who are you?”, but rather, “nō hea koe? / where are you from?”

Surveyors extended their sketching skills to record not just Pākehā boundaries, but also snapshots of the life and times of our tūpuna.

Somes Island

Legend has it that both Matiu and Makaro Islands received their original Māori names from Kupe, the semi-legendary first navigator to reach New Zealand and get home again with reports of the new land. He named them after his two daughters (or, in some versions of the tale, nieces) when he first entered the harbour about 1000 years ago.

Somes Island : Matiu (1990)
Somes Island : Matiu (1990)

“After European settlement, the island was known for over a century as Somes Island. In 1839 it fell under the control of the New Zealand Company along with much of the greater Wellington region.”

“The island was renamed after Joseph Somes, the company’s deputy-governor and financier at the time. In 1997 however, the New Zealand Geographic Board assigned the official bilingual name of Matiu/Somes in recognition of the island’s colourful European and Māori histories.” [5]

I look forward to Morrie Love’s kōrero to reveal the layers of history that lie both beneath our feet and before our eyes, and  to provide an opportunity to understand the heritage of Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

References

  1. Stories in names / Tohunga.   New Zealand Railways magazine ; vol. 9, issue 6 (1934)
  2. Maori Land Court.  Nelson Minute Book.   13/6/89.  P. 39.
  3. Byrnes, Giselle.   Boundary markers.  P. 2
  4. Ibid.  p. 6
  5. Wikipedia contributors. (2018, March 16). Matiu / Somes Island. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:26, April 13, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Matiu_/_Somes_Island&oldid=830688561

Make, create or innovate these April holidays

Spin a Sphero, make music, code a cart, and rock with a robot! These April school holidays, your children can get to be an engineer, architect, or scientist at your local library. There are eight different robot and coding events happening across Wellington City Libraries: we have some of the latest programmable toys, gadgets and robots, or they can get creative with Lego and coding games. Best of all, they are open to all ability levels.

Here’s where and when the activities are happening:

Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Tuesday 17th April, 10.30am

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Wednesday 18th April, 10.30am

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Thursday 19th April, 10.30am

Karori Library: Friday 20th April, 2.30pm

Johnsonville Library: Monday 23rd April. 2.30pm

Newtown Library: Tuesday 24th April, 10.30am

Khandallah Library: Thursday 26th April, 10.30am

Central Library: Friday 27th April, 10.30am

These free events are for children aged 6+ and run for 1 hour. No need to book – just turn up! Contact your library to find out more information – or follow our Kids Blog or our Facebook page for updates.