Asni: harps and imagination - newsletter #10 - October 2007
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Hello, kia ora and welcome to the tenth Asni: harps & imagination newsletter!

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GOOD THINGS, BAD THINGS AND THINGS INBETWEEN

In this newsletter:
CHILDREN'S MUSIC * CD PRODUCTION UPDATE & MIDDLE-EARTH CALENDAR * UPCOMING EVENTS * AND HOW IS SCHOOL?

PRE-ORDER TRAVELS IN MIDDLE EARTH CD

I am still looking for subscriptions for my new cd! Just a few more subscriptions to go! More of that below.

Listen to sound clips from the new cd

CHILDREN'S MUSIC

Occasionally I get proof that people actually read this newsletter. That is always very nice. A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a lovely man who read my last on the New Zealand songwriter’s list, sympathized with my freelance woes, and invited me to do a spot performing at a New Zealand children’s songwriters gathering organized by APRA (the Australian Performing Rights Association, which handles all the music copyright issues in Australia and also here in New Zealand). APRA has identified a need to give children’s music a bit of a push here in New Zealand (Australia, of course, has The Wiggles), and they thought it would be a good idea to get people together to meet and talk.

I have not actually been involved much with children’s music as such, so far, but it is an area that interests me (ever since I’ve been working with children as a caregiver) and people keep suggesting that I should get into it. In fact, some while ago I had a lovely letter from Richard Taylor (of Weta Workshop fame) saying that he thought my 700 Years of Pop cd was beautiful and he had passed it on to his then brand new tv production department for a possible involvement with the soundtrack for his children’s tv show Jane and the Dragon (which has since become quite a hit). Unfortunately it turned out that the soundtrack was being produced in Canada – shame, thought I, and also, how strange it is that New Zealand should have all these state of the art film and tv production facilities – Weta, Parkroad Post, and so on – which cover the entire film production process, except for the music. It’s not like there is a lack of talented musicians around here, either.

Well, maybe that will also soon begin to change.

"TRAVELS IN MIDDLE-EARTH" CD PRODUCTION UPDATE & MIDDLE-EARTH CALENDAR

But then of course, over the last two months I have had lots of proof that people actually read my newsletter. The subscription tally for my Travels in Middle-Earth cd now stands at 70 Subscriptions, plus the equivalent of another seven raised through other sales, as well as one donation (I do so love it when people actually donate something. It always makes my day). I am still 43 subscriptions short of my goal of 120 – and I have also received the outcome from my funding application, and no, I have not got the money. Not that I really expected I would ...

On the upside, I did receive a rather large tax refund (oh the benefits of never earning anything! :-S) which nearly covers the sum I am still short. So I have decided to go ahead with the production if I can get the subscription count up to eighty (instead of 120). It may mean that I won’t be able to pass my car through its next WOF in December or have a holiday over Christmas either, but hey, that’s what they call priorities.

Please help me make it happen and send in your pre-orders – I am *that* close to my goal. Unfortunately, I can't promise at this stage that they will be ready by Christmas - in fact I expect that I will have to push the release date back to January or even February next year. Not just because I am still short of money, but because I am simply too busy to push it at this stage. I will need to find the time to finish the booklet design, negotiate a deal with a cd manufacturer, deal with the copyright clearance and all that - and then of course I have to hope that nothing goes drastically wrong. But hey, one needs to focus on the positive and keep thinking pink, right?

Right. Well, I’m definitely one of the pinkest thinkers around. It’s a little-known fact and one that those who know me love to dispute, but it is nonetheless true.

Why else would I be doing this?

Middle-earth calendar

In order to help raise more funds for the cd production, some friends have suggested that I should look into publishing a calendar with a selection of my photos – with a focus on Lord of the Rings filming locations. They can be pre-ordered now – send me an email if you would like to reserve a copy. The price will be NZ$35/ US$ 27.50/Euro 19 (incl. shipping). The calendar will fold to A4 size. I will be posting the images I selected on my website shortly. Deadline for pre-orders is 5 December 2007. More details will follow in a short while.

UPCOMING EVENTS

To keep it short, there are none. I don’t even have any music history or theory courses to announce this time round, as the school year at Wellington High School will soon be finished – but there will be more courses next year, I will keep you informed. And there is always the possibility for short-term gigs floating in, now that Christmas is approaching – I will post them on my news page, if any.

The projected trip to Europe in Summer 2009 is still on the agenda, although so far I have not received any invitations or suggestions for possible venues. If you are interested, please let me know soon! The longer in advance I can plan this trip, the better are the chances that it will actually happen

check here for: news updates * upcoming concerts * workshops and courses

The Orongorongo Sceptre
short video
Tiki's Morning Routine
animation

AND HOW IS SCHOOL?

My course at Natcoll Design College is going well – armed with my Dr Who designer watch, which was given to me as a freebee at the last Armageddon (“pulp culture expo”) here in Wellington, I am doing my best to blend in. Recently, we had a class vote on our favourite film – as a theme for our web design assignment – and I found myself agreeing with a narrow majority on Blade Runner. Given that the vast majority of fellow students in my class are young kiwi blokes in their twenties, I think that’s a feat to be proud of – in any case, I was stoked (and relieved, given some of the other choices. But ey, focus on the positive, focus focus focus).

I’ve also had a chance to direct, production design, shoot, edit AND act in (as well as use some of my own music for) my first ever *movie* (well more like a short film, well more like a short student *video* in fact, but still). It was a fantastic experience. I had been a little intimidated by the prospect of having to organize my own team but in the end it turned out I did not only have a very enthusiastic and efficient cast and crew, but also one of the largest. We spent a brilliant sunny afternoon in Rimutaka Forest Park for the outdoor scenes, and everyone had a good time. And in the end they thanked me for all the fish and chips. Click here to download the result of our efforts!

Next on the list was our animation assignment, and I eagerly grabbed the chance to breathe three dimensional digital life into that lovely little fellow the TIKI MAN (those of you who had Christmas cards from me last year will recognize him). He turned out very, very cute indeed. Click here to check him out!

So as you can see I’m having fun AND am being productive, and I even manage to squeeze some sketching in every once in a while, though the paintbrushes have been rather idle as of late. I’m making an effort to attend my weekly life drawing sessions as regularly as I can, but sometimes they have to give way to the urgent need to finish an assignment (I won’t post the results here lest nekkid people might offend someone). Now that it is spring, I have been out and about doing life scetches again, and am posting two of them here - some river stones at Waiohine Gorge, and a view of Kapiti Island. I have also started updating the artworks section on my site, so have a look there for my newest work.

Guess that’s about enough of a newsletter already – ONE DAY I will get around to writing up my long-promised essay on Fantasy music. But today is not this day – I *am* doing my best to stay on schedule with this newsletter. Though lately, 24 hours in a day just don’t seem quite enough.

Arohanui, from Asni

Now, don’t forget to order that cd…

PRE-ORDER TRAVELS IN MIDDLE EARTH CD

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last updated: 31 October, 2007