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SOUNZ sails in a new direction

SOUNZ sails in a new direction

In one of New Zealand’s iconic pieces of music, Landfall in Unknown Seas, composer Douglas Lilburn provided a setting for words by Allen Curnow. The opening lines describe the pioneering spirit that brought our forebears to Aotearoa: “Simply by sailing in a new direction, we could enlarge the world...”

Now SOUNZ, the Centre for New Zealand Music is also sailing in a new direction and from Monday, November 26 2007, a whole new world of New Zealand music will become available to anyone, anywhere via the internet.

For more than a decade the SOUNZ website, has provided information about the music of New Zealand composers. From November 26th, visitors to the website will have access to so much more: extensive data about works and composers, performers and events, venues and news and a means to search and sift through this information that will lead to exciting new discoveries and opportunities supported by a wide range of digital resources.

SOUNZ Online is the most extensive and crucial development undertaken by the Centre since its inception in 1991. SOUNZ received major funding through the Community Partnership Fund of the National Digital Strategy and Creative New Zealand to work in partnership with CANZ and Radio New Zealand Concert to build a web-based catalogue and website. The system has been developed by New Zealand companies Catalyst IT (website and software applications) and Springload (web design).Through this project SOUNZ will be able to support more effectively the many individuals and organisations involved in the music of New Zealand composers: its creation, presentation and dissemination.

The project has entailed several major innovations. At the heart of the changes is a new music cataloguing system based on FRBR (Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records). This conceptual model has been developed to render searchable not only the many elements which belong to the music, but also the relationships between these elements. In this way visitors will be able to explore not just the composers and their works but also the different instrumentations, scores, resources, recordings and performances along with the associated performers, venues, publishers, commissioners, events and so on.

Faceted searching has been chosen for the website to ensure that visitors – whether they are experts or new – will be able to discover the music through different perspectives and be encouraged to explore further. The visitor will be able to see what scores, CDs, books or DVDs of a work are available and whether they can be borrowed from the SOUNZ collection or purchased. Sample score pages or audio will be available for many works. Members of SOUNZ will also be able to purchase and download scores and audio files directly from the website as well as enjoy other benefits such as discounts and email newsletters.

Geographic isolation and a small and ‘young’ society have long been challenges to the publication and dissemination of all kinds of New Zealand music. SOUNZ Online promises to transform these challenges into opportunities – particularly for our composers - and gives SOUNZ the means to fulfil our mission: Created in New Zealand, heard around the world! Tipua i Aotearoa, rangona e te ao!

Words can convey only so much. The best and most effective way to experience this great leap forward in the accessibility of the music of New Zealand composers will simply be to use - same address, but after November 26th, a whole new world of New Zealand music!


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