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Composer in Residence brings diverse career experience

Composer in Residence brings diverse career experience

David Long

The Hobbit, King Kong and The Lord of the Rings are just a few of the films the next Composer in Residence at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music (NZSM) has been involved with.

David Long has worked on all of Sir Peter Jackson’s films over the past decade providing, often in collaboration with the musical collective Plan 9, much of the additional music that is vital to cinematic ambience.

His career as a composer, musician and producer has varied over the past 30 years.
He was a founding member of the iconic Kiwi rock band The Mutton Birds, an award-winning album producer for Fur Patrol and Dave Dobbyn and has composed music for television and for contemporary dancers Douglas Wright, Shona McCullagh and Raewyn Hill.

His most recent work was heard in the score for Beyond the Edge—a feature documentary about Sir Edmund Hillary’s ascent of Mount Everest.

The Composer in Residence position is funded by private donor Dr Jack C. Richards and Creative New Zealand, with NZSM acting as the host organisation. The role was created to foster New Zealand musical composition by providing the appointee with the opportunity to compose full-time.

Mr Long is looking forward to the collaborative opportunities that the residency will provide. “I have always loved creating music that collaborates with another art form—whether it be for film, television, dance or theatrical performance. It often gives a sense of purpose to my writing and helps put the music out into the world.”

Programme leader for Composition and Sonic Arts at NZSM, Dr Dugal McKinnon, says the school is looking forward to Mr Long’s contribution.

“One of the strengths of this residency is its connection to many musical organisations around Wellington. He will not only have the opportunity to interact with staff, students and ensembles at NZSM, but he will also have the opportunity to work with the wider Wellington musical community.

“His plans promise to deliver very engaging musical outcomes.”

NZSM is a joint venture of Victoria and Massey universities.


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