Other Voices, Other Rooms

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

GUEST WRITER ROB SCOTT on the tug of two homelands

2 Apr 2012  |  3 min read  |  2

It really sneaks up on you, New Zealand. 

I’ve travelled close to 30 hours to get here. On this final 4 hour leg, I watch a few M*A*S*H episodes as the expanse of ocean passes beneath me. Between each I check the progress map, as the impossibly not-to-scale plane edges closer and closer to the New Zealand shoreline. The flight tracking is so accurate that when the... > Read more

GUEST WRITER STEVE GARDEN considers the fine art of the piano tuner

Steve Garden  |  30 Mar 2012  |  4 min read

You would be forgiven for thinking that a film about piano tuning would be enough to test the stamina of even the most hardened cinephile, but despite the rarefied world in which Pianomania is set, the film is far from minimalist. Robert Cibis and Lilian Franck’s fine documentary about master piano technician Stefan Knupfer is one of the most lucid and engaging of documentaries,... > Read more

Le Rossingnol; Andante Notturno

GUEST WRITER CHRIS CREE BROWN settles in for an afternoon of unfamiliar piano pieces

26 Mar 2012  |  5 min read

Sunday afternoon. And the prospect of reviewing four new CDs comprising of piano music by Saint-Saens and three other less familiar composers. An exciting prospect, but tempered by the thought that sometimes there's a reason why certain composers are less familiar, and that some pianists have been known to dredge out obscure music in order to have a point of difference and be noticed.... > Read more

Susi (version for solo piano)

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND sees Sinatra at his meanest and best

23 Mar 2012  |  4 min read

Suddenly is a Californian town where everybody knows everyone, it has been a “quiet day for the last 50 years” and words like shucks, swell and heck punctuate conversations. This setting for the 1954 B-grade thriller (directed by Lewis Allen) has, in retrospect, a corny naivety similar to Lumberton, David Lynch’s parody of small town Americana in Blue Velvet.... > Read more

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND on a classic British crime movie

12 Mar 2012  |  4 min read

Get Carter (1971) is a British crime thriller, about gangsters, corruption and family loyalty, set against the grime of a declining Northern town. The film marked the directorial debut for Mike Hodges and stars Michael Caine as Jack Carter, a London gangster, who returns to his hometown Newcastle, to violently avenge the death of his brother Frank. Poking around in the criminal... > Read more

Carter Takes a Train


Jeffrey Paparoa Holman  |  5 Mar 2012  |  3 min read

Everybody knows about the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers: it’s famous for sure, but far from most urban centres and off the beaten tourist track. Not so, the less well-known colony at Muriwai Beach close to Auckland: it’s only 40 kms and 35 minutes from Queen Street. We discovered it at the tailfeather end of Northland round trip in December: from Devonport to Te... > Read more

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH concludes communism is good for something . . .

27 Feb 2012  |  2 min read

Some of the best pop music ever written sprang from the need to sing about the forbidden, particularly by dipping into that well-spring of denied human desire. In western culture, forbidden desire yielded pop classics such as Cyndi Lauper’s She Bop and Turning Japanese by the Vapours, songs that topped the pops despite their implied rude lyrical content. Behind the Iron... > Read more

Spiegel Im Spiegel