On October 30, at the TSB Arena, APRA’s annual award ceremony – ‘The Silver Scroll Awards’ were held for the first time in Wellington since 2004, with Luke Buda of the Phoenix Foundation chosen as Music Director. The awards have become renowned for the unique musical performances, where bands and musicians are selected to perform one off renditions of the finalists’ songs, often completely flipping them on their head with a complete genre change.
“It is both a huge honour and tremendously exciting to be asked to be the Music Director for the 2014 APRA Silver Scrolls” said Buda, “The Scrolls are always a great night full of musical surprises and my mind has been working overtime to make sure that mighty legacy will continue!”
And continue it most definitely did, with Mr. Buda doing a splendid job in selecting an outstanding range of musicians from Wellington’s distinctive, off the grid musical community each of whom gave memorable performances.
Tami and Joshua Neilson’s winning song, the soulful, retro-flavoured blues ballad ‘Walk (Back to Your Arms)’ was given a world music make-over by Victoria University’s 16-piece Indonesian Gamelan orchestra, Gamelan Padhang Moncar, with The All Seeing Hand’s Jonny Marks adding his astounding Mongolian throat singing vocal skills.
Other nominees songs covered were ‘Bridges’ by Broods‘, which was given a gorgeous makeover by Terror of the Deep, Rhian Sheehan, and a string section; Louis Baker’s ‘Back on my Feet’ reconfigured by The Golden Awesome; The Phoenix Foundation’s ‘Bob Lennon John Dylan’ covered by the West Coast Bullies; and for some, the highlight of the evening from Estere, who covered Tiny Ruins’ lovely ‘Me at the Museum, You in the Wintergardens’.
Also presented on the night was the APRA Maioha Award, for excellence in song writing featuring te reo Māori. The award was won by Rob Ruha for ‘Tiki Tapu’, and was presented by Aotearoa hip hop pioneer, Upper Hutt Posse’s Dean Hapeta. Following the presentation of the award Electric Wire Hustle took the stage to perform their interpretation of the song.
In addition was the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, which recognises outstanding contemporary composition by New Zealand composers, which was won by Wellington’s Michael Norris for his composition ‘Inner Phases’. Written to be performed by a Chinese instrument ensemble and a string quartet, melding eastern and western composition palettes, this piece was re-interpreted on the night by ex-Happy organiser and jazz saxophonist extraordinaire Jeff Henderson, performing under a pseudonym chosen in Douglas Lilburn’s honor – ‘Lil’ Dougie Boyne’!
The memory of Wellington classical/electronic music pioneer, Douglas Lilburn, was afloat on the night, as the final part of the evening saw him posthumously inducted into the prestigious New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.
Established in 2007, The New Zealand Music Hall of Fame pays tribute to those that have had a significant impact on New Zealand life and culture through music. Lilburn’s induction makes him the 15th addition and sees him rub shoulders with artists including Jordan Luck, Dave Dobbyn, Shihad and Herbs. The tribute to him highlighted the fact that he is the first classical composer given this honour – a particularly extraordinary achievement
Composer and author Philip Norman honoured Lilburn with a moving tribute which was followed by performances of three of his works. Synthesiser maestro Ed Zuccollo performed an excerpt of ‘Overture; Aotearoa’ (1940), pianist Jian Liu played ‘Sea Changes’ (1946) and Wellington’s avant-garde jazz combo, The Labcoats, reinterpreted one of Lilburn’s later electro acoustic works ‘Welcome Stranger’ (1974).
The night also saw Ella Yelich-O’Connor (aka Lorde) and her producer Joel Little pick up two awards. Their song ‘Team’ won the Most Performed New Zealand Work in New Zealand, and ‘Royals’ won the Most Performed New Zealand Work Internationally.
The winners of all awards were: APRA Silver Scroll Award – won by Tami Neilson and Joshua Neilson for ‘Walk (Back to Your Arms)’
APRA Maioha Award – won by Robert Ruha for his song ‘Tiki Tapu’.
SOUNZ Contemporary Award – won by Michael Norris for ‘Inner Phases’.
APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film – won by Victoria Kelly for ‘Field Punishment No 1’.
APRA Best Original Music in a Series – won by Tom McLeod for ‘Girl vs. Boy’ (Season 2).
Most Performed New Zealand Work in New Zealand – won by Ella Yelich-O’Connor and Joel Little for ‘Team’.
Most Performed New Zealand Work Internationally – won by Ella Yelich-O’Connor and Joel Little for ‘Royals’.
New Zealand Music Hall of Fame inductee – Douglas Lilburn Classical composer Douglas Lilburn was inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame.
Check out the full night’s performances here