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Douglas Lilburn Radio Series Released On CD

31 August 2004

Douglas Lilburn Radio Series Released On CD

The popular radio series ‘Douglas Lilburn: The Landscape of a New Zealand Composer’, about the life and music of New Zealand’s most distinguished composer is now available as a 10-CD boxed set.

The release has been managed by SOUNZ, the Centre for New Zealand Music in partnership with Concert FM, a network of Radio New Zealand.

The radio series, in 10 one hour episodes, was created over a one-year period after Lilburn’s death in 2001. “We were determined to tap into the essence of the man, while his friends and colleagues were still around”, say producers Gareth Watkins and Roger Smith.

After its first broadcast on Concert FM in 2002, there was widespread interest in the series from educational institutions, libraries and members of the public, leading to the decision to produce the series on CD.

“This project is hugely important in terms of documenting musical history in New Zealand. There is so little existing material about Lilburn, even though he is as important to the musical world as Colin McCahon is to that of art” says director of SOUNZ, Scilla Askew, “ We are extremely grateful to the Will Fels Memorial Trust, the Stout Trust and the Lilburn Trust for recognising the importance of this release through funding support.”

Consisting predominantly of interviews with 25 of the composer’s close friends, family and colleagues, along with musical extracts and archival interviews with Lilburn himself, the series allows a fascinating insight into the complex man.

Various aspects of Lilburn’s life are discussed, including his family life and growing up on the farm ‘Drysdale’, in Hunterville, his working life as a composer and lecturer at Victoria University, his relationships, encouragement of young composers and his intensely private nature.

The producers admit “having spent so much of his life determinedly promoting and supporting the work of others while doggedly avoiding the limelight himself, it is hardly likely that Douglas would have approved of a series of programmes focusing exclusively on his life”.

“If this had been done while he was alive, he would almost certainly veto it.” says Sir William Southgate in an interview appearing in the series.

The CD boxed set, to be launched on September 7, is available from SOUNZ, the Centre for New Zealand Music and Replay Radio (Freephone 0800 737 529).


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