About Sonic Museum
See us with music
Sonic Museum is about experience, yours and mine. It is about seeing – through music and through sound.
At Auckland Museum we are exploring how our thoughts, feelings and sensations are constantly shaped by new ways of looking. In Sonic Museum, a diverse selection of original music and sound compositions, commissioned from some of New Zealand’s finest composers from the dance, rock, sound art, orchestral and jazz scenes will guide you through collection displays and galleries.
I love the way music allows each of us to be aware of how others, in this case a group of musicians and sound artists, can be inspired by things, whole rooms of things, in the Museum. And at the same time that these compositions prompt and extend our own experience of the displays, encouraging a different awareness of the collections, of ourselves, and of the world in which we live.
Vanda Vitali, Ph.D.
DIRECTOR AND CEO Auckland Museum
Music journalist Nick Bollinger interviewed the nine artists involved in Sonic Museum to bring you the story behind the music making for our gallery spaces.
Rhythm, tone, noise, passion, beauty – these are things we may hope to experience in music, but what happens when we find them in a museum? We tend to expect museums to be silent places full of facts, to engage our intellects. By contrast, music seems to bypass the brain and plunge straight to the heart. But what if the two were combined in some way? With our senses opened up by music, how different might our experience of the museum be? What would we notice or learn that we hadn’t been aware of before? Sonic Museum is our chance to find out. Auckland Museum commissioned nine musicians and sound artists to explore how music and sound can add to and alter the experience of looking. In preparation, each of the artists spent time in their gallery of choice, exploring its environment and collection objects, its meanings and resonances, drawing on the knowledge and advice of the curators. We invite you now to see the museum through music and sound.
Nick Bollinger is an influential record reviewer, rock journalist and best-selling author. He has written for various national and international publications and is a regular contributor to the New Zealand Listener. Since 2001, he has written, produced and presented the music review programme The Sampler for New Zealand's National Radio. His first book, How To Listen To Pop Music, was a local best-seller in 2004 and his second book, 100 Essential New Zealand Albums, will be published later this year.