Silver Scrolls award winners in the running once again

NZSM Associate Professor Michael Norris has been nominated for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, and MFA (Creative Practice) Teaching Fellow David Long is a finalist for the APRA Best Original Music In A Series Award at this year’s APRA Silver Scrolls Awards.

David Long and Michael Norris

No stranger to being on the winner’s podium, Michael Norris has won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for the past two years running. It will be the seventh time he has been nominated for the award. Michael won in 2014 with his work Inner Phases for string quartet and Chinese instrument ensemble, in 2018 with his work Sygyt for throatsinger, ensemble, and live electronics, and last year with his work Violin Concerto – Sama. He is now nominated as a finalist for his work Mātauranga (Rerenga) for orchestra, taonga puoro, and live electronics.

Michael says,“I’m really pleased to be nominated for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award again this year. My piece, Mātauranga (Rerenga) was a very special piece to compose. Although I had previously attended a number of noho marae run by taonga puoro maestri such as Richard Nunns and Horomona Horo, this was my first composition to feature taonga puoro. I want to particularly thank my soloist, the wonderful Al Fraser, who was everything I could ask for in a collaborator, as well as conductor Carlos Kalmar, who, with the sensitive and nuanced playing of the NZSO, helped bring the score to life.

“I envisaged this piece as a tightly integrated soundworld between the taonga puoro and the orchestra, which given their very different timbres and performance techniques was quite challenging. I decided to use custom-built live electronics to transform the sounds of the taonga puoro in real-time into wavelike textures which the orchestra would then imitate and develop. In this way, the orchestra becomes an immense resonator and amplifier of the intimate, expressive sonorities of the taonga puoro.”

David Long, who teaches courses in film composition at NZSM, is a former finalist and winner of the APRA Screen Awards, also presented as part of the Silver Scrolls Awards. David won the Best Original Music In A Film Award in 2018 for his score for McLaren. This year he is a finalist for the APRA Best Original Music In A Series Award for his work on the sumptuous international co-production of The Luminaries.

Based on Eleanor Catton’s acclaimed historical novel, and series unravels an incredible tale of star-crossed love bound up in a gold-rush mystery, and Long’s score carefully intertwines the spiritual with the gritty, building drama while also delineating the many characters who cross paths. The soundtrack to The Luminaries was created almost entirely by staff and alumni of the New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī (NZSM).

The winners will be announced at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards on Wednesday 14 October.