Music From Her Festival

The New Zealand School of Music - Te Kōkī, at Victoria University of Wellington presented 'Music From Her' in October 2018, a festival to celebrate, support and encourage diverse voices of women working in music in New Zealand, in the year of the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.

Lee Stuart, Ariana Tikao, Ruby Solly singing at Suffrage Songs Recomposed
Lee Stuart, Ariana Tikao and Ruby Solly performing at Suffrage Songs Recomposed

The festival saw a number of events happening between 9 – 14 October.

In an exhibition at Thistle Hall Gallery, six female sound artists from New Zealand and abroad showcased their compositions and installations.

A day of panel discussions on gender issues in music took place on Sunday 14 October, in which female composers, performers and scholars in music in Aotearoa came together to explore, celebrate and share their musical identities and histories.

The pinnacle event of the festival, the Suffrage Songs Recomposed concert at Hannah Playhouse on 14 October, saw a collection of 1890s women’s suffrage songs texts made modern by nine stellar female composers. Various singers were joined by instrumental, electronic and taonga puoro musicians to perform re-imaginings of these politically trailblazing texts. The printed programme for the concert can be viewed here, and images from the concert here.  

The winner of the School’s Lullaby Competition for the Prime Minister, Chanelle Davis, also performed her winning lullaby in the concert. The competition was open to all New Zealanders, who were asked to write music for a prophetic 1892 lullaby about a woman going ‘at her dear Country's call, to make lovely laws for Pa, Baby and all’. Ms Davis’s winning lullaby was gifted to Jacinda Ardern.

Below is a list of events that took place as part of the festival and those involved.

Sound Art Exhibition 9 – 14 October, Thistle Hall Gallery

Antonia Barnett-McIntosh – current Composer in Residence at the New Zealand School of Music
Emi Pogoni – curator of Works for Loudspeakers
Amy Jean Barnett – postgraduate student at The Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Flo Wilson - 2017/2018 Toi Pōneke/ Te Kōkī Sound Art Residency recipient
Sasha Leitman – PhD candidate at the New Zealand School of Music
Rebekah Wilson - co-founder of Source Elements (Chicago)

Panel Discussions 14 October, 10:30 – 4pm, Thistle Hall 

with Antonia Barnett-McIntosh (chair), Ariana Tikao, Meri Haami, Sasha Leitman, Jasmine Lovell-Smith, Barbara Paterson and Monique Lapins.

by Inge van Rij and Lorena Gibson

an audience kōrero with Sally Jane Norman and Elizabeth Kerr

Suffrage Songs Recomposed 14 October 7:30pm, Hannah Playhouse

Alison Isadora
Ariana Tikao
Brooke Singer
Emma Bernard
Jasmine Lovell-Smith
Meri Haami 
Miriama Young 
Ruby Mae Hinepunui Solly
Susan Frykberg
Chanelle Davis