Other Voices, Other Rooms

This page offers the opportunity for other opinions to be added to Elsewhere. Contributions should be around 600 - 1000 words and can be sent to Graham Reid for consideration. (Use the "contact" link, bottom left.)

And because this is Elsewhere, there are no constraints on the subject matter. A small idea written large or a big idea distilled down are equally acceptable. We invite your contributions. 

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GUEST WRITER BILL DIREEN writes about a project to save books from being disposed of by the National Library of New Zealand

25 Jul 2021  |  2 min read

Mass book disposals are being carried out by the National Library of New Zealand/Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa (the wellsprings of knowledge).  If allowed to continue, a fine research library will be gutted. This will deprive New Zealanders of a research portal to their roots. Scholars will have no access to published studies about the rest of the world. Future... > Read more

GUEST ENSEMBLE TARARUA talk about their groundbreaking debut album Bird Like Men

21 Jul 2021  |  4 min read

Our ensemble is made up of four established artists -- Al Fraser, Ariana Tikao, Ruby Solly and Phil Boniface (see our biographies below) -- who are leaders in their various fields. Our evocative music combines taonga pūoro, waiata, karakia and pūrākau (story) with a strong southern Māori influence, with the western instrumental elements of cello and doublebass.... > Read more


GUEST WRITER YASMIN BROWN considers a timely album by an Iraqi Kiwi

9 Dec 2020  |  3 min read

As politics become more polarised, political commentary is becoming stronger, and while it has long since seeped into (or indeed, driven) punk music, as these issues become more prevalent in day to day life, pop music is now embracing such themes, too.  One wonderful example of this is Yasamin, a young woman whose recently released Songs Over Baghdad album is made... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN PAUL McLANEY OF GRAMSCI considers the journey to sobriety and the new album Inheritance

12 Oct 2020  |  6 min read

Music and the performance of music are to me a public communion of grace; to share, collectively, in some form of majesty beyond self, of pure surrender and release. Obviously in a post Covid-19 world the luxury of congregation has been temporarily removed from us but Music’s facility to engage multiple minds via the recorded medium means that we can still share and connect. ... > Read more

GUEST WRITER JEFFREY PAPAROA HOLMAN sees a Beat and a Beatle in performance

5 Sep 2020  |  4 min read

It was in my early twenties, an American Literature lecture at the old University of Canterbury townsite that I first heard Allen Ginsberg’s poetry read aloud, complete with an unheard of lecture hall profanity when David Walker our teacher, a poet himself, read us the poem America, from Howl and other Poems. He launched into the subject with, “America I’ve given you all... > Read more

Ballad of the Skeletons

GUEST ART WRITER AND RESEARCHER PETER SIMPSON on a turning point in painter Colin McCahon's career

3 Aug 2020  |  6 min read

This is an edited extract of the speech Peter Simpson gave at Gow Langsford Gallery, July 28 2020 on the launch of the second and final volume of his biography of Colin McCahon, Is This The Promised land? Vol II 1960 - 1987. . I would like to say something about the methodology which I followed in the books and focus on just one brief sequence in McCahon’s career to describe some... > Read more

GUEST WRITER STEVE GARDEN considers women filmmakers looking at men in the #MeToo era

9 Jul 2020  |  3 min read

Recently I watched two films that ostensibly examine male power from female perspectives in the context of #MeToo, both of which could, in a sense, be described as psychological horror films. The Invisible Man (2020) is a mainstream thriller directed by Leigh Whannell starring Elisabeth Moss, who came to prominence playing Peggy Olson in the TV series, Mad Men. The Assistant (2019) is... > Read more

GUEST COMPOSER JONO HEYES on his music for a film about a remarkable inventor

11 May 2020  |  8 min read

Monsieur Rayon's Gramophone is a collection of commissioned works for the would-be film 'Monsieur Rayon's Gramophone'.  The film-Makers have given me permission to pre-release these 'works in progress' separately as it is now uncertain whether the film will now go ahead. The storyline follows the colourful life of Monsieur Jean-Claude Rayon an unusual French... > Read more

GUEST WRITER GAYLENE MARTIN recalls Dread at the Controls Vs. The Radio Plugger

27 Apr 2020  |  4 min read

When Mikey Dread was signed to UB40'S label, DEP International in 1984, the label used their very successful radio plugger company to promote Mikey and the other signed act Weapon of Peace. “Plugging” was a term for “promotions” particularly pertaining to radio & TV outlets. Mikey's first single for DEP was Reggae Hit Shot b/w Pave the Way. I was... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN LUKE HURLEY shares a portrait of the artist as a young itinerant

30 Mar 2020  |  3 min read  |  1

Ed Note: Luke Hurley is a well-known New Zealand musician, prolific recording artist (his new album Happy Isles is reviewed here) and has been a common sight as a busker. He is everywhere, and yet few know of his fascinating upbringing which he shares here. Rather than change Luke's words, spelling and style we leave it just as he wrote it. . Born Kisumu Kenya moved to Zanzibar... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN MAX HUDSON offers beginners some lessons in how to tune a guitar

7 Feb 2020  |  13 min read

One of the most important skills every guitarist has to learn is guitar tuning. It is necessary to tune the guitar almost every time you play, and trust me, you don’t want to give your axe to the guitar master every day for that. Why? Cause it’s not as tricky as you think! Tuning is no rocket science, and here I’m gonna cover all the important things you need to know to... > Read more

GUEST WRITER JACCI GRACE considers a lost classic album from '65

15 Jul 2019  |  11 min read  |  1

This we know: the Sixties in America was a period of cultural, political and social change. The decade brought historic counterculture movements, led by the new liberal generation. The counterculture movements included the Civil Rights and Feminist movements, the freedom of sexuality, and the demand for peace as the American government was sending troops into the Vietnam... > Read more

Orange Blossom Special

GUEST MUSICIAN ALY COOK explains the journey of recording and raising funds for her next album

6 May 2019  |  6 min read

Well, home now in the peace and tranquility of Tasman, between Nelson and Motueka where I reside, from what has been a full on 10 days in Sydney. This has been the beginning of a huge process of recording my third album at Asquith Studios, in another amazing setting on the edge of the Australian bush, being woken by the kookaburras, and feeding the rainbow lorikeets by hand between... > Read more

GUEST WRITER MARK ROACH OF RECORDED MUSIC NEW ZEALAND explains the project of Auckland, City of Music

1 May 2019  |  4 min read

When you say the words ‘music city’, thoughts naturally go to the most famous of those: Nashville, Memphis, London, NYC, Austin… But the term Music Cities is more frequently used now as a descriptor for cities which have switched on to the transformative power of music, and are harnessing that power to not only improve local music communities, but to use it as a social... > Read more

GUEST WRITER MITCH MYERS considers a great musical mash-up by the late Harry Nilsson

18 Mar 2019  |  2 min read

While attention has doubled back onto the late singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson thanks to the integral use of his 1971 tune Gotta Get Up in the Netflix hit Russian Doll, his knack for getting inside your head and capturing the zeitgeist with his music has been happening for more than half a century. In 1967, he created a sort of Russian doll of his own, embedding multiple... > Read more

GUEST WRITER RACHEL EDWARDS considers the best and most woozy rap album of 2018

18 Dec 2018  |  6 min read

Travis Scott plays the magician in his 2018 album Astroworld, crafting an underworld of slurred auditory hallucinations for his audiences. A Houston rapper true to his roots, Scott’s musical success led to unhindered access to the drugs and alcohol he has been glorifying along the way. His most recent album leaps beyond his previous solo work and numerous features on fellow... > Read more


8 Oct 2018  |  2 min read

Editor's note: Longtime Elsewhere subscriber David Trubridge is well-known in New Zealand for his range of lights and designs. But over recent years he and his company have produced a wide range of installations and commissions both here and overseas. He shows us here some of his recent work and also a short film about his ethos and ideas. The header image shows a lighting... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN DUDLEY BENSON shares some inspirations behind his Zealandia album

27 Aug 2018  |  3 min read

Editor's note: Dudley Benson is unique in the musical landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand, his musical projects stretch from pop sensibilites to sonic landscapes, from European classical traditions and choral work to respect for Maori waiata and traditional Maori instruments. It is music which is consciously artistic and even consciously art music, but is also reaches into deep emotional and... > Read more

GUEST WRITER MITCH MYERS pays tribute to bands that weren't The Band

31 Jul 2018  |  8 min read

As music lovers around the world celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Band’s landmark Music From Big Pink debut, MAGNET’s Mitch Myers digs a little deeper to introduce you to some lesser-known, sonically similar, mostly non-American artists from that time period, and the You Tube clips to back them up. . When the Band released... > Read more

GUEST WRITER GRIFFIN JENKINS considers a classic concept album 44 years on

23 Jul 2018  |  9 min read

Rael Died for Our Sins: A new analysis of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis – written by Peter Gabriel and released in late 1974 – begins with an instrumental opening passage. The piano is playing a virtuosic pattern, faint echoes of a moving guitar, distant chimes. We’re being welcomed into a mystical world and a fictional... > Read more

Fly on A Windshield