Douglas Lilburn

Lilburn Lecture

The Lilburn Trust and the Alexander Turnbull Library invite you to:

Event:Lilburn Lecture 2017
Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal - Searching for Voice, Searching for Reo
The journey of a bicultural composer
When:Thursday, 2 November 2017, 6pm - 7pm
Where:   Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library of New Zealand,
corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Wellington
Cost:Admission Free
Space is limited, so book your spot by emailing
Detail:    At this year’s Lilburn Lecture, acclaimed musician and composer Charles Royal (Marutūahu, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngā Puhi) will discuss his journey as a composer, giving expression to his twin passions of music composition and mātauranga Māori creativity.

Using musical examples, Charles will consider the purpose of composing, the potential impact of concepts such as reo (voice) and kōrero (voiced narrative) as an approach to music and whether mātauranga Māori and Western composition can combine to create a new and satisfying whole.

Charles Royal is a composer, researcher, teacher, musician and passionate advocate for ‘indigenous creativity’. He is highly respected writer and has received several prestigious fellowships. He is Director of Ngā Manu Atarau at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand.

Prosaic notes from an unwritten journal by Jenny McLeod (2016)

Acclaimed composer Jenny McLeod surveys her life's work and experience in relation to her friend Douglas Lilburn's manifestos of New Zealand musical identity, A Search for Tradition (1946) and A Search for a Language (1969). The lecture took place on 2 November 2016 and was recorded by RNZ.

Click to listen to Jenny's lecture, courtesy of RNZ Concert.

A Broader Tradition, a Broader Language by Chris Bourke (2015)

Marking the 100th anniversary of Lilburn's birth – music historian Chris Bourke discussed the place of local popular music in New Zealand. Bourke considered the ideas discussed by Lilburn in his celebrated talks A Search for Tradition and A Search for a Language: are they still relevant, and can they be answered by popular music? The lecture took place on 4 November 2015 and was recorded by RNZ.

Click to listen to Chris's lecture, courtesy of RNZ Concert.

Signatures and Footprints by William Dart (2014)

Titled Signatures and Footprints, William Dart talked about the complexity of securing identity and individuality. He drew on historian E.H. McCormick's essay from 1960 — Distance Looks Our Way: The Effects of Remoteness on New Zealanders — and how, even in our time of instant global communication, his words still resonate.

Click to listen to William's lecture, courtesy of RNZ Concert.

Plato's Cave: Realities of Composing In New Zealand by Philip Norman (2013)

The inaugural Lilburn Lecture was given by Dr. Philip Norman in the Hunter Council Chamber, Victoria University, Wellington on 2 November 2013.

Click to listen to Philip's lecture, courtesy of RNZ Concert.