Our country has had a chequered history so far as journals
of music are concerned. In this century,. some will remember Music in
New Zealand - the companion to Art in New Zealand, published by
Harry Tombs from the nineteen-thirties, and edited by Vernon Griffiths.
During the War years, there was Owen Jensen's Music Ho!--and then
came a considerable gap before Robert and Heather Kerr's Third Stream
made a short but provocative appearance in 1968.
Since then, it has been a matter of specialist magazines:
Murray Cammick's idiosyncratic Rip it Up, now 130-issues-old, a
marvellous record of rock over the last ten years; Canzona, the
Composers' Association's in-house magazine - not generally available to
the public; and Adrienne Simpson's Early Music New Zealand, a
little journal which covers a territory ranging from, say, Gluck and Lully
to the musical taste of Sara Harriet Selwyn, the wife of Bishop Selwyn.
Apart from the foregoing, most commentary on New Zealand
music is limited to scattered articles and reviews in newspapers and some
weekly or monthly publications (often pretty perfunctory commentary at
that!) - or found on radio programmes that quickly vanish into the ether.
In starting Music in New Zealand, we are intending that
the keynote should be liveliness and variety. This is a variety
genuinely to be found in music in New Zealand today, though little
recorded. In this first issue you will find an interview with the composer
and conductor Pierre 80ulez, in Wellington recently for the Festival; an
interview-in-depth with the Auckland composer John Rimmer (each issue will
feature such an interview with an outstanding musician); Tom Shanahan's
striking photographs of musicians associated with the NZSO; a review of
Mercury's Lucia di Lammermoor; a piece on the New Zealand Chamber
Orchestra, now on their June tour; a commentary on Hans Keller and the
Boundaries of music criticism, by J.M. Thomson, former editor of the our
journal Early Music,' a review of Jack Body's new video about his
visit to China; a profile of the Auckland rock musician Greg Johnson,
together with selected record reviews.
Upcoming numbers this year will feature an interview with
composer Jenny McLeod, and one with singer Malvina Major; a survey of the
work of Flying Nun Records; an illustrated piece on David
Farquhar's opera A Unicorn for Christmas, written in 1962 in
collaboration with Ngaio Marsh; as well as profiles of the regional
orchestras and regular concert reviews and commentary.
The future of Music in New Zealand seems to us to
be promising. There is a wealth of talent, and of material to be published
(not forgetting countless photographs and graphics that add much interest
to the writing). But much will depend on you, the music-loving public, to
support the magazine with your subscriptions, to draw it to the
attention of your friends. . .
And so we publish this first number of Music in New
Zealand in a spirit of energy and optimism, and with high hopes for a
whole new deal in communications about the thriving world of music in this