Composing songs and instructing music have all the time complemented one another for the founding member of The Verlaines who has been recognised within the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The rock musician and former senior lecturer at Otago College Dr Graeme Downes has been made a Member of the Order of Benefit for providers to music and music training.
Dr Downes is the songwriter, vocalist and producer for The Verlaines which he based in 1981 on the coronary heart of what got here to be often known as the Dunedin Sound – together with Toy Love, The Chills, The Clear, Straitjacket Matches and plenty of others.
The group has launched 11 albums and two EPs over the previous 40 years.
Downes has a classical background – his PhD was within the symphonies of Mahler.
He went on to grow to be a senior lecturer at Otago College instructing band efficiency, songwriting, evaluation, music concept and within the course of developed New Zealand’s first rock music diploma.
He informed Queen’s Birthday morning with Karyn Hay one of the simplest ways to explain his profession is like being in “a continuing round suggestions loop”.
“I write music and it helps me perceive what the hell I am attempting to do.
“You attempt to clarify it to any person else within the instructing atmosphere and in the event you do an excellent job of it that is good.
“For those who do not do an excellent job of it, you go really, I do not perceive this in addition to I ought to.
“One factor retains informing the opposite – for me anyway.”
He stated each instructing and writing songs have been the love of his life “and the 2 issues have all the time gone collectively actually”.
Dr Downes retired final yr in order that he might take care of some well being points, saying at this time: “I am right here; I am all proper.”
He’s composing music and is engaged on one other report.
“It’s kind of gradual when it comes to writing the music facet of it. It is a factor you must get your self into the precise mode to have the ability to do.”
He stated the final album, Dunedin Spleen, got here out on CD and digital final Friday and a stay album with music carried out in 1996 comes out on 12 June.
The album title is a reference to some Baudelaire poems known as Paris Spleen so it is “only a poet being crotchety”.
He stated it is a privilege to be a recipient of a Queen’s Birthday honour. He’s celebrating at this time with some household and associates in Otaki the place he relocated a yr in the past.
Graeme Downes was additionally a longtime music reviewer for 9 to Midday and recorded this interview simply earlier than stepping down from the function in November 2020.