183 Cuba Street, Wellington
Friday 17 September 2010
Most histories of recorded music concentrate on the final product: the crescendo of the classic album. In reality the final product is a small part of a band (or an artist’s) life, which otherwise is dominated by process. Traversing the highways of New Zealand, Bill Direen’s novel Nusquama (Titus Books 2006) focuses on life behind the scenes for an independent rock group on tour in the 1980s; the hours journeying between gigs, the interactions between members, the search for accommodation, transport, food and other items necessary to sustain momentum towards the next gig, the opening up of the landscape and New Zealand people.
Writer and musician Direen will be in Wellington to read extracts from his semi-autobiographical novel Nusquama. Staged at Slow Boat Records, Bill will accompany the reading with a performance of selected songs from his extensive back-catalogue. This event will exemplify the power of music to transcend forms and become subject for both printed fiction and oral storytelling.
After a decade based in Berlin and Paris, Bill Direen is in New Zealand from July 2010-January 2011 as the 2010 Fellow at the Michael King Writers Centre in Auckland. In 1984 he opened a small alternative theatre-gallery in Christchurch, workshopping plays by Artaud, Shakespeare and medieval works; it was also the base for a collective music group working under the name The Bilders. Direen’s work includes poetry, fiction (stories, novels, prose-poems, science-fiction), songs and music-theatre pieces. He is guest editor of New Zealand’s literary journal Landfall 219 ‘On Music’.