Other Voices, Other Rooms

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON considers Michael Houstoun's interpretations of Beethoven's piano sonatas

Andrew Dawson  |  21 Nov 2014  |  4 min read

If Chuck Berry’s hit Roll Over Beethoven was meant to dethrone the composer from his place in Western culture, it didn’t work. In the intervening years, Beethoven’s music has featured in over 700 movies alone, not to mention a plethora of commercials and even on the ‘77 Voyager Golden Record sent out for extra-terrestrial appreciation (with Berry as a fellow... > Read more

Appasionata; Allegro assai

GUEST ARTIST ALEXA SHAW writes about photographing a Pacific nation

1 Nov 2014  |  4 min read

Niue. Have you been? It’s a beautiful, rugged, raised coral atoll in the South Pacific. It’s a place for adventure, discovery, disconnecting oneself from the ‘real world’. Our host, Graham Reid has spent a bit of time in Niue discovering the place, and, most likely, something new about himself. To find out some of his highlights and definite ‘to... > Read more

GUEST ARTIST JOSEPHINE CACHEMAILLE on her new exhibition and current practice

23 Oct 2014  |  3 min read

I am interested in making objects, paintings and installations that provoke questions about our magical thinking tendencies. Magical thinking refers to causal reasoning that looks for correlations between objects, acts and utterances, where there are no plausible correlations. Despite its proliferation amongst ‘modern’ people, magical thinking it is still commonly seen... > Read more

GUEST COMMENTATOR SIMON GRIGG on New Zealand's patchy history of political songs

8 Oct 2014  |  6 min read

The story of political song in New Zealand is a mixed one. It goes from almost nothing to a flood to a trickle. For much of the history of popular song in New Zealand we simply did not make political statements in song – with very rare and sometimes accidental exceptions. Two of those exceptions are amongst the biggest hits of their eras and one was a definite pointer towards... > Read more


GUEST WRITER SUSAN EPSKAMP considers One Direction and the idea of the concert film

6 Oct 2014  |  4 min read

It’s official: One Direction will be seen in cinemas again. The English boy group released a video message to Digital Spy announcing their new film, featuring footage from the San Siro Stadium in Milan. In their announcement, the boys say the film – entitled Where We Are; The Concert Film – was made for the fans who missed out on tickets to see them on their... > Read more

GUEST ILLUSTRATOR SARAH RYAN analyses the interface of text and art in her current work

29 Sep 2014  |  3 min read

In my current illustration work I have been exploring the ways which a narrative can be impelled by contradicting and contrasting ideas between illustration and typography. I have been playing with the way in which the ambiguous form of both illustration and typography can blur the line between what is illustration and what is typography. Through this approach I have been testing ways... > Read more

GUEST SONGWRITER GREG FLEMING recalls making his new album Forget the Past

13 Sep 2014  |  4 min read

A Sunday morning 2012. My daughter’s waiting for her poached eggs, my fiancé is checking out travel deals on the net (a much promised, much delayed New Mexico holiday - making records ain't cheap!) and I’m sitting at the table picking on my acoustic guitar. My previous album Edge of the City with my band The Trains had been released a couple of months earlier. It was... > Read more

Cities in the Distance

GUEST RADIO HOST GRAHAM DONLON offers his 101 classic albums

25 Jul 2014  |  6 min read  |  4

Responding to Elsewhere's recently posted all-inclusive Cornerstones collection -- 101 albums which could be the building blocks of a decent CD collection -- my 101 list includes all genres, it's just that the albums that I have never got sick of tend to lie outside popular music.  This is my cornerstone collection, the discs that have sustained me over the years.  As requested, I... > Read more

GUEST WRITER CHRIS BOURKE on a moving doco about an influential recording studio

23 Jun 2014  |  1 min read  |  4

In 1967 Aretha Franklin went from the sophisticated studios of New York to a backwater in Alabama and finally had the hit that made her career: I Never Loved a Man. Arriving at the studio, she was surprised to find her backing band was young white boys. Looking back, and speaking with a royal “we” befitting the Queen of Soul, she said, “We didn’t know... > Read more

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY talks the art and business of images from PhotoForum

2 Jun 2014  |  6 min read

The forthcoming Rim Books publication of PhotoForum at 40: Counterculture, Clusters, and Debate in New Zealand will mark four decades since PhotoForum was founded. Perhaps the society no longer has the profile it enjoyed in its first 10 years, when it published a bi-monthly magazine, but PhotoForum is still going strong. There is a comprehensive website, frequent exhibitions, and... > Read more

GUEST WRITER SUSAN EPSKAMP on a doco about a music festival about unity and hope

25 May 2014  |  5 min read

Some of the most interesting music has been immersed in the politics of its day. The attitudes of musicians are a reaction to the social, political and economic happenings that surround them. The Made in America festival – which played out over two nights in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on September 1 and 2 in 2012 – was designed to accommodate the... > Read more

GUEST WRITER SUSAN EPSKAMP comes cold to the Clash

8 May 2014  |  3 min read

First, I should point out the Clash broke up before I was born and I'd not even heard much of them before I watched Danny Garcia’s film, The Rise and Fall of The Clash, at Elsewhere's invitation. Because of that I was confused for the better part of the 93 minutes duration. There were cuts from one idea to the other with the assumption the viewer had a clear understanding of the... > Read more

Radio Clash


2 May 2014  |  3 min read

In May 2013 we started recording our debut album ‘I Need Space. Now in May 2014 we get to release it to the public... finally. Let me start by saying this is one of the single hardest things we have done as a band; and ultimately the most rewarding. From writing and demoing 30 songs, to all five of us living in Brisbane in the one room for a month, to seeing it finished in... > Read more


GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD on being unsafe at sea

28 Apr 2014  |  4 min read

For a business built on drama, this year's Oscars were singularly undramatic to the point of being tediously predictable. By a combination of timing, networking, collective guilt and America's love of self as much as some kind of redemptive conclusion, the winner for best picture was always going to be 12 Years a Slave. But, as with Lincoln the previous year, this was a film... > Read more

GUEST WRITER KEVIN BYRT recalls touring the strangely troubled Townes Van Zandt

21 Apr 2014  |  5 min read  |  2

I first met Townes Van Zandt at Auckland airport in 1988. He and guitarist Mickey White were waiting on the pavement, Townes sitting on his suitcase and Mickey standing next to him. Even in that position Townes was taller than Mickey. Townes was an artist we always wanted to tour but were reluctant based on his hell raising reputation and legendary stimulant abuse. However he had... > Read more

If I Needed You

GUEST SONGWRITERS TAMI NEILSON and DELANEY DAVIDSON on writing together for her new album Dynamite

21 Mar 2014  |  4 min read  |  1

Tami Neilson and Delaney Davidson have long been Elsewhere favourites in the broad church that is alt.country (and often not so alt). They have won shelves of awards for their songwriting and albums, and even more critical accolades. Neilson's new album Dynamite! -- released today -- sees her co-writing on a number of songs with Davidson (who also produced the album) so we couldn't... > Read more

Cry Over You

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND gets all at sea with Hitchcock

24 Feb 2014  |  4 min read

With the remarkable story of survival at sea by the Salvadoran fisherman Jose Alvarenga – more than a year in an open boat across the Pacific – the new Robert Redford film All is Lost could not be more timely. In it Redford plays an unnamed lone sailor whose yacht collides with a shipping container and he is adrift and sinking. Critics are hailing it as one of Redford's... > Read more

GUEST ARTIST STEVEN ATHANAS from Toledo, Ohio shares his outsider work

27 Jan 2014  |  3 min read

Having spent four decades being a singer in various bar bands, I am reinventing myself yet again – in my sixth decade on the planet – as a visual artist. Though some have suggested that I focus on one medium, I find myself constantly seeking new ways to 'spress myself, and wond'rin' why I should limit myself to one way. I am inspired by my inner muse (whose name... > Read more

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY offers a view of Television up-close

Jonathan Ganley  |  28 Oct 2013  |  2 min read  |  1

On Thursday October 24th 2013, Auckland's Powerstation hosted one of the most anticipated concerts in a long time. Especially for those who were there during that first flicker of punk and New Wave. The bill was New York's Television, and Australian Ed Kuepper (formerly of the Saints) opening with an acoustic set. The jury may be out on how good Television actually were, although few... > Read more

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY explores the story behind an iconic image

Jonathan Ganley  |  21 Oct 2013  |  4 min read

Opening with a barrage of rapid-fire images of war, turmoil and protest, Chevolution is a documentary focusing on a single photograph. It examines how one image of a handsome revolutionary took on more significance and meaning than the photographer, or the subject, could have imagined. Alberto ‘Korda’ Díaz Gutiérrez was the Cuban photographer who shot many pictures of... > Read more