DOC’s got talent – and for once I’m not talking about our world-leading conservation work. Today, in honour of New Zealand Music Month, we’re kicking off a three-part series showcasing the musicians in our midst. From Brazilian samba to electronic pop punk rock, you’ll find DOC musicians are as diverse as the ecosystems they help care for – and just as inspiring.
Delete Delete: Kurt Shanks
Formerly bass player in stellar*, DOC’s Auckland based Communications and Engagement Advisor, Kurt Shanks, is now one half of the electronic pop punk rock duo Delete Delete.
Although Delete Delete is still in its early days, their future looks bright. Their debut single Sedated has been selected as Song of the Day on music website Cheese on Toast and they’ve been interviewed on TVNZ U, where they played their new animated video (which is, by the way, completely wicked and one you’ll want to watch):
Kurt’s job at DOC sees him doing everything from generating local media coverage for Auckland-specific DOC projects, to unearthing new ways to engage and involve Aucklanders in conservation projects.
In Delete Delete Kurt does a little bit of everything too – from playing the guitar and keyboards to singing and co-writing songs.
Whether in his band, or in his work at DOC, Kurt is always trying to convey as economically as possible the core story or emotion. “Too many words blur the picture.”
Tom’s Field: Sean Magee
“A tasty mix of folk/old-time fusion with contemporary and modern flavours” is how Nelson’s Sean Magee describes his bluegrass/folk band Tom’s Field. The group’s repertoire includes bluegrass harmonies and rhythms, stomping reels and jigs, original compositions and soulful songs all interspersed with cheeky irreverence.
18 months into his time with Tom’s Field, Sean – who sings and plays banjo and mandolin – says its a great buzz to play to a dance floor full of revellers. He recommends that you “bring your dancing trousers and be prepared to raise a sweat”.
Here he is (on the mandolin) at Motty Malones Irish Bar in Motueka. If this doesn’t get your feet tapping nothing will:
Wellington Batucada: Kate McAlpine
DOC Science Adviser Kate McAlpine cites playing in the Rugby World Cup victory parade as her biggest moment with Wellington Batucada, a group she has been involved with for about four years.
Samba is the traditional music played by large percussion groups in Brazil’s carnival parades, and Wellington Batucada looks to emulate this tradition. Kate plays agogo bells and shaker, and is also gig coordinator.
At DOC Kate does scientific research and provides advice on environmental weeds.
Watch Wellington Batucada perform at the Rugby World Cup opening night:
Stay tuned for Part II of our New Zealand Music Month series, profiling the musicians in our midst, next week.