It’s May 2021, which means that New Zealand Music Month | Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa is upon us once again. We like music here on the Teen Blog, so we thought we’d share with you some of the cool stuff you can see, hear, or do to mark the occasion.
Find local music at the library
The theme of NZMM21 is simple: ‘Support Local. Stream Local. Follow Local. Buy Local.’ I’m not sure if there’s some kind of subliminal messaging at play here, but I think it’s possible that the kind folks at the New Zealand Music Commission are encouraging us to check out local artists. This is a message we at Wellington City Libraries wholeheartedly support. Our Customer Specialist for Music and Film, Mark, runs the Wellington Music blog and Facebook page, and if what you’re after is a constant stream of local Wellington content — interviews, videos and performances, anecdotes, new releases and more — well, he definitely has you covered. Check out his exhaustive Artist Directory for lists of literally hundreds of Wellington musicians and bands going back to the 1940s, complete with links to their material. It’s the best place you could start if you’re wanting to explore the music of this place.
On the off-chance that you are the kind of person who still likes to bust out the odd CD or vinyl record and give it a spin, we actually have a massive collection of both, at our Te Awe branch on Brandon Street, and Te Pātaka, our Collection Distribution Centre in Johnsonville. Use the Artist Directory to search by artist/composer/band, or browse the whole gosh darn collection at once:
If you’re into classical music or jazz, we have a bunch of awesome resources for you to check out — from the score and songbook collection and classical and jazz CD collections (including the music of prominent New Zealand composers like John Psathas and Gillian Whitehead), to the truly massive and amazing online repositories of the Naxos Classical and Naxos Jazz Libraries — free with your library card.
Make music with the library
If you want to make music of your own but don’t have the means, you can actually borrow audio equipment like mics, PAs, field recorders, even the legendary Synthstrom Deluge synthesiser/sequencer/sampler/marvel of engineering from the library. It’s super easy — just pop your details in the form, tell us what you want and when you need it, and we’ll make it happen. One of our librarians will even sit down with you and show you how it all works if you need.
If the home studio isn’t quite the vibe you’re going for, you could also use our free recording studio at Tūhura/The HIVE at Johnsonville Library. For up to two hours at a time, you can have free use of the studio and all its gear to do whatever you want — record, jam, noodle, rehearse, whatever you need. Because the space is heavily used, bookings are essential — email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your spot. Here’re the specs on the studio software and hardware available to you:
- Software: Logic Pro X, Garage Band, Da Vinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro X
- Audio Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Gen3
- Microphones: Rode NT-1a, Shure SM57, Shure SM58, AKG P170
- Audio Monitors: Mackie CR4BT 4″ Multimedia Monitors
- Control Surface: Korg nanoKONTROL Studio
- MIDI Keyboard: Icon Pro Audio iKeyboard 8Nano
- Electric Drums: Alesis Nitro Mesh 8-Piece kit
- Electric Guitar: Squier Bullet Mustang
- Guitar amp: Marshall CODE50
- Bass Guitar: ESP LTD B10
While our librarians have a well-documented propensity for being musical performers themselves, we also accept that there might be some cool stuff happening outside the library too. Thankfully, the excellent people behind NZMM21 have put together this fabulous calendar of live gigs for your edification and enjoyment. Make sure to visit their website for the full picture.
There will be more to come on New Zealand Music Month-related goodness in and around our libraries, but until then, remember: Support Local. Stream Local. Follow Local. Buy Local. Local is where all the best stuff is, anyway.