Mu­si­cal re­sponse to war re­mem­bered

North Shore Times - - HOME LIVING - LAINE MOGER

When the Great War be­gan in 1914, the whole of New Zealand re­sponded in a ‘‘mu­si­cal way’’, says au­thor and mu­si­cal his­to­rian Chris Bourke.

Un­for­tu­nately, the 200-odd orig­i­nal songs writ­ten by Ki­wis dur­ing this time have all but dis­ap­peared, ei­ther never recorded or no longer rel­e­vant.

Good-bye Ma¯ori­land: The Songs & Sounds of New Zealand’s Great War is Chris Bourke’s latest book, which cap­tures the legacy of this for­got­ten time, from years 1914 to 1918.

The award-win­ning Welling­to­nian au­thor said the book stemmed from his in­ter­est in how mu­sic im­pacts on so­ci­ety, as well as the Great War’s cen­te­nary in 2017.

‘‘There is al­ways mu­sic sur­round­ing war,’’ he said.

‘‘Dur­ing war time, mu­sic is about the peo­ple at home re­spond­ing to the war and ex­press­ing their sup­port. Later on, the songs change to griev­ing and ac­knowl­edg­ing the sac­ri­fice.’’

In­ter­est­ingly, while many of the Pa¯ keha¯ songs have been lost, the Ma¯ ori wartime songs which have stayed in con­tem­po­rary folk­lore.

So, one chap­ter of the book is ded­i­cated en­tirely to Ma¯ ori song writ­ing. Many of which en­cour­age peo­ple to en­list in the war ef­fort, he said.

Bourke is known for his 2011 award-win­ning book, Blue Smoke: The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Pop­u­lar Mu­sic, which de­picts New Zealand’s Rock n Roll era

‘‘There is al­ways mu­sic sur­round­ing war’’ mu­si­cal his­to­rian Chris Bourke

from 1918 on­wards.

Bourke will be trav­el­ling from Welling­ton to at­tend the Devon­port launch, timed for the last day of the Her­itage Fes­ti­val.

Along­side Kiwi mu­si­cian Tim Finn, the open­ing event will also fea­ture a live band.

‘‘I re­ally like the idea of hav­ing a brass band at the launch, be­cause brass bands were the com­mu­nal mu­sic

Bourke said.

‘‘At­ten­dees will get the sound of the era.’’

The North Shore Brass Band will per­form songs se­lected from this book plus some well known mu­si­cal icons such as It’s a Long Way to Tip­per­ary, Pokarekare providers,’’ Ana and con­clud­ing with Now is the Hour.

At­tend the launch, Sun­day Oc­to­ber 15, from 2pm at Old Vic, Devon­port.

Tick­ets are lim­ited and cost $10.

Find out more about the event at writ­er­scen­tre.org.nz.

Chris Bourke, au­thor of new mu­sic his­tory Good-Bye Mao­ri­land.

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