Remix my mates during NZ music month and make me a bona fide rock star!

Sirocco the Spokesbird —  06/05/2011

It’s time to vote. Check out my lastest blog post!

Skraaark! To celebrate New Zealand music month, and to raise the profile of New Zealand’s avian songsters, I’m putting out the call for the musically talented to remix the wonderful sounds of New Zealand’s unique birds. It’s a competition people!

tr. v. re·mixed, re·mix·ing, re·mix·es
To recombine (audio tracks or channels from a recording) to produce a new or modified audio recording:
remixed a popular ballad and turned it into a dance hit.

New Zealand birds obviously have charisma and good looks (especially us kakapo), and everyone knows we’ve got a unique sound, but nothing’s really ever happened with our music… and we don’t want to have to go out and get real jobs. Sitting in trees sounding awesome is just fine by us.

As I dwelt on our undeniable greatness, the reason for our failure dawned on me – we are yet to release a really great track. It’s not that we don’t have anything to release, New Zealand birds have been recorded time and time again, but something that Simon Owl said to me recently has just stuck in my head. He said to me, “I think we need to get with the times Sirocco”.

I pressed him for more information, but all he could say when he took off his headphones was “dubstep, dubstep, dubstep”. I thought he was a little mad until I did some research and my eyes were opened to the possibilities! I reckon that my booming, and Simon’s hooting, would go really well with a bit of ‘wob-wob-wob-wob’ dubstep… what do you think?

We need someone who can take our sounds and turn them into something banging! Are you that person? If you think you’re up for the challenge why not dust off the MPC, or that Stratocaster that’s been sitting in the corner of your room, and do your worst?!

Sirocco the rockstar kakapo. Photo: Mike Bodie.

Sirocco the rockstar kakapo

Feel free to draw on any member of SAVE – the Society of Avian Vocal Entertainers – and even a bit of yourself if you like too!

Get your remixes in to me by the end of New Zealand Music Month (31 May 2011) and, together with our very special guest judge – the mad morepork Simon Owl, I’ll choose the track most likely to make me (and you if you’re lucky) a star!

The top entries will be posted on the Department of Conservation website and our adoring fans will have an opportunity to vote for their favourite.

The remix that is voted the best will be showered with gorgeous gifts* and forever benefit from the profile afforded them as a result of their close association with famous, cuddly, adorable, sexy me! And who knows, the television appearances, radio play and recording contracts might just start rolling in… bona fide rock star status achieved! Winning!
So, email me

  • Your contact details
  • The title of your track
  • A great sound file (video optional):
    • No longer than 5 minutes
    • No bigger than 10 MB
    • MPEG4 for video and MP3 for audio
  • An acknowledgement of the people/organisations who contributed to your remix – we need to share the glory.

Here are some resources to start you off but, feel free to cast your net wider:

I feel this is the start of something great! Be a part of it.

* Okay, showered with gifts might be an exaggeration but you will receive a copy of the brilliant Unnatural History of Kakapo DVD and a copy of Alison Ballance’s amazing book Kakapo: Rescued From the Brink of Extinction. Oh, and did I mention the glory?

Read the competition terms and conditions

22 responses to Remix my mates during NZ music month and make me a bona fide rock star!


    Hi where and when can we hear the results of the competition ?


    Hi, what time is the cutoff on the 31st? Is it 9.00am? 5.30pm? 11.59pm..?

      Sirocco the Spokesbird 30/05/2011 at 1:26 pm

      Boom! We’ll give you every last minute of NZ Music Month – so, 11.59 pm (New Zealand time) on Tuesday 31 May.


        Excellent – great bass sounds and a generous nature, how could anyone not like this bird? 🙂



    I have a CD here titled ‘Bird calls of New Zealand’. “Field recordings by John Kendrick. Narration by Robert Taylor. Produced for the Department of Conservation and Radio New Zealand”.

    Do you know if I can sample this? 🙂

    (I’m going to kick off with the MP3s in the meantime).


      Sirocco the Spokesbird 27/05/2011 at 5:08 pm

      Hi Dan,

      I’m afraid I can’t find out much about the history of the recording but my take is that it was created for DOC and Radio NZ – both Crown entities – so it should be fine to use. Crown Copyright material can generally be reproduced in any format or media without requiring specific permission. Also, remixes are often ‘transformative’ of original content, so they may find protection from copyright claims under the ‘fair use’ doctrine of copyright law anyway. Do make sure you send through acknowledgements with your piece though.

      Skraark! I hope that helps. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Will kakapo feature I wonder? Only four more sleeps till the competition closes and I find out!



        Yes, two Kakapos are on bassline duty 🙂

        BTW you should check out track 39 of this CD if you can find a copy. There’s really no need to get remixes done when such a rockin old-skool accompaniment already exists!

        Sirocco the Spokesbird 30/05/2011 at 1:53 pm

        The CD sounds awesome. I’m trying to get hold of a copy.

        Isn’t it great that there is already some cool music profiling our most talented songsters (i.e. our native birds)? I hope the competition comes up with some fresh new sounds, but also gives those out there already doing this stuff a bit of a lift too.



    Aren’t you the kakapo who was involved in “that” incident with Mark Carwardine? I’m interested to know what you were listening to at the time…

      Sirocco the Spokesbird 19/05/2011 at 9:42 am

      Skraaark! Guilty as charged. They don’t call me the big green budgie of love for nothing! And my inspiration? The great Walrus of Love, Barry White. ‘I can’t get enough of your love, babe’. Oh yeah, I dig that pop-soul groove!


    No matter what comes from this, and I am predicting there will be a lot of goodness, you will always rock.

      Sirocco the Spokesbird 19/05/2011 at 10:01 am

      Boom! Thank you Mary – you are an angel. And I am hoping for a lot of goodness: good rock, good rap, good pop, good folk…


    This sounds like a cool thing. But I worry when I see the disclaimer on the RadioNZ page you linked to: “NB: The bird calls are available for download but are covered by strict copyright conditions. These conditions limit access to personal use only. It is a breach of these conditions for bird calls downloaded from this site to be distributed, broadcast publicly, or altered in any way.”

    Sounds like I can’t use any of those sounds for a remix, eh?

    Guess I should stick to the DOC ones.


      Sirocco the Spokesbird 18/05/2011 at 12:10 pm

      Hey Brenda,
      Most of the sounds on the Radio New Zealand National site are from DOC and are subject to Crown Copyright. My buddies at DOC are completely okay with you using these. In fact, Crown Copyright material can generally be reproduced in any format or media without requiring specific permission. Also, remixes are often ‘transformative’ of original content, so they may find protection from copyright claims under the ‘fair use’ doctrine of copyright law. Whew, that’s a lot of complicated talk for a kakapo. Hope it helps though :


    I personally think that Fatcat and Fishface’s “cuckoo to you” song is poignant and catchy! Not sure you’ll top it Sir-Rocko!


    Dancing with the Stars? You think you can Dance? New Zealand Idol? 60 minutes? Goooo Sirocco….

      Sirocco the Spokesbird 12/05/2011 at 1:30 pm

      Boom! I like your thinking. The sky’s the limit! Well, okay, maybe a bit lower – I am flightless after all.

    Annabelle McCart 09/05/2011 at 4:10 pm

    Well Well Well… you have finally realised that you ARE A ROCK STAR.. i am going to get my talented Nephews to compose something… both play in bands one of them is a lead guitarist.. other one plays drums guitar piano…i will have to tone down the music though… they do like a bit too much heavy metal.. but they are great at doing Led Zepplin.. i think that would suit you very well… xxxxxxx

      Sirocco the Spokesbird 12/05/2011 at 1:26 pm

      Skraaark! Sounds fabulous Annabelle. I hope you can drum up the interest (ha). I’m open to all styles of music – I’m quite heavy myself – don’t curb those talented metalers too much!

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