Zombies on the horizon
Experimental music in Aotearoa
Runs from 23 May – 19 August | 10am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday | Level one
In 1967, when New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn expressed his apprehension about the ‘zombie on the horizon’, he was referring specifically to the introduction of electronic music into our compositional landscape. What Lilburn may or may not have considered was that the rise of electronic music was part of an overall movement towards musical innovation that has since become a significant presence. Over the past 50 years, Lilburn’s lone zombie has multiplied into a sprawling horde that, for better or worse, has come to be known as experimental music.
Aotearoa celebrates itself as nation of pioneers, adventurers, inventors and explorers, and in the world of music it is no different: we have a lineage of sound explorers, instrument inventors, sonic adventurers and audio pioneers who have ventured beyond the confines of musical form and genre to explore what happens when you break the rules. Whether it’s Douglas Lilburn playing farm equipment in a barn in Wiltshire or the Orchestra of Spheres wailing on a biscuit-tin banjo, Zombies on the horizon explores the rich culture of experimental music in Aotearoa, showcasing many of the seldom-heard musical taonga held in the Alexander Turnbull Library.
In association with the exhibition, the Library will be hosting a series of free lunchtime concerts. With performances by some of our finest experimental musicians, this series will take in free jazz, electronics, singing, turntablism, circuit-bending and much more:
- Thursday June 2: Glen Downie & Chris Wratt
- Friday June 10: The Snouts
- Thursday June 16: Chris Prosser
- Thursday June 23: Simon Cuming
- Thursday June 30: Erika Grant
- Friday July 1: Kraus & the Wellington Musical Electronics Library
- Thursday July 7: Jonny Marks
- Thursday July 14: Sally Ann MacIntyre
- Thursday July 21: NZ School of Music Sonic Arts presentation 1
- Thursday July 28: NZ School of Music Sonic Arts presentation 2
- Thursday Aug 4: NZ School of Music Sonic Arts presentation 3
- Thursday Aug 11: Dan Beban
- Thursday Aug 18: Omit
In house audio installation on the ground floor.
Banner image: Detail from Ear music: visual music to be seen not heard, 1984, Lyell Creswell. AO-89-219-60.