Stroma @ NZ Music Week

"This is New Zealand Music Week, and in acknowledgment Emma Sayers of Massey University’s Music School has organised a series of concerts, of which this was the first.

Stroma is a collective of young Wellington-based professional musicians, mostly from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, who are dedicated to the performance of new music, and the concert of short works by New Zealand composers demonstrated their considerable skills.

The music, by seven composers, was a splendid panoply of clever and intriguing sounds received by the audience with great enthusiasm.

It is very difficult in this age of recordings radio, fillm and television to come up with new sounds, and none of what we heard was greatly different, as a sonic experience, from that we have been hearing for the best part of half a century in some form or other.

But what was more significant was the individual responses to the timbral possibilities suggested by a wide range of instruments, in a differing array of combinations. In this respect each of the works showed the sharp ear of the composer.

The works that took my ear were Lisa Meridian-Skipp’s Devil on a Wire for cello and programmed electronics, James Gardner’s Fetish Effigies, Ross Harris’s Contra-Music for low wind instruments and percussion, and John Rimmer’s 1995 The Ripple Effect.

Other listeners could, quite validly, have chosen differently, and the overall experience demonstrated, in dramatic fashion, the fertility of New Zealand’s new music scene and the skill of our performers."

— Dominion, 14 May 2001