A truly sacred ring
Te Ara – the on-line encyclopedia of New Zealand – has just launched its last section, “Creative and Intellectual Life”. So after 12 years’ work, it will be updates only from now on. It’s a magnificent work that covers every aspect of New Zealand life: history, economy, sport, leisure, religion, science. And finally, culture. I was honoured to be asked to write the entries on popular music. The main one, Popular Music, is 5000 words and covers from the Europeans’ first encounter with Maori – it was a musical encounter – in the 17th century, to the success of Lorde last year. The other, smaller entries I’ve written are on jazz and dance bands, and folk, country and blues. The researchers at Te Ara sourced some wonderful photos, film and sound material. Thanks to Ross Somerville, who in 1998 commissioned from me a profile of the legendary broadcaster Arthur Pearce, which led to this kind of work including Blue Smoke.