‘Sound The Ocean’ to play Hamilton

Wintec Master of Arts student Nick Kraenzlin will be playing in Hamilton this Saturday night, as part of the new band Sound The Ocean. Nick is also the recipient of a Wintec Postgraduate Research Award.

Sound the Ocean comprises seven Hamilton music teachers by day – who become seven musicians by night. Initially performing as the Nick Kraenzlin Band in 2010, a rebrand led to the name change and a line-up comprised of Nick Kraenzlin (vocals/acoustic guitar), former flatmates Brendon Rickard (drums, vocals) and Jason Henderson (electric guitar), Jon Clarke (bass guitar/vocals) and Brett Wilson (electric guitar, vocals). Rounding out the group is Nick’s wife Amanda (vocals/percussion) and Jesse Te Weehi (keyboards).

The group’s debut album, Wait for the Morning (slated for release in 2013), was penned by Nick as a suite of thematically-linked songs as part of his portfolio for his Master of Arts degree. After recording demos at The Porch (nestled in rural Waikato), the band set off for Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studios to track the album. 

Sound the Ocean play in Hamilton on Saturday, Dec 1st at Eastside Youth Hall (corner of East St and Tramway Rd) along with November Zulu, Fly By Wire and Aaron Boyens. 8pm. $10 at the door. In their live shows the band reportedly deliver ‘stadium-ready, anthemic pop/rock songs equally as wide as the horizon and deep as the ocean’.

Connect with Sound The Ocean on Twitter and Facebook, and have a look at the teaser clip below.

BMA Commercial Music student wins National competition

[singlepic id=766 w=320 h=240 float=left]Unlike the social issue they were tackling, two Waikato teenagers had nothing to lose when they entered a writing competition aimed at addressing the problem of gambling.

Waikato University music student Kayla Collingwood won the poetry section in the national Scribe With Me competition, and Wintec media arts student Jimi Mataio was one of two winners of the song section.

The pair, both 18, drew on personal experience when they wrote their entries, which had to include the words “choice not chance” and “let’s choose to end harmful gambling”.

Mr Mataio, the drummer in Waikato band The Good Fun, said he used to live in South Auckland and had seen first-hand the negative impact gambling could have on society.

Miss Collingwood said she was inspired by friends with addictions.

“I know a few people who have had gambling problems.”

She said her involvement in the competition had helped a friend with a pokie machine addiction to face his problem.

“I think it’s been four weeks since he gambled.”

The pair estimated it had taken them half an hour each to write their entries, and Mr Mataio said it took him another half-hour to record his.

“It’s usually pretty fast,” Mr Mataio said.

“It kind of just came to me,” Miss Collingwood said.

“I usually find if it takes me longer than that, it’s not that good. I want to publish a book of poetry one day and winning this has given me a bit of a confidence boost.”

Both earned $250 in vouchers for their regional and then national placings, but it was the opportunity to meet Scribe, who has faced his own gambling issues, that really had them excited.

“I grew up listening to him pretty much,” Mr Mataio said.

Article by Louise Risk / Waikato Times

Dave Baxter wins APRA Song of the year 2011

group-shot-1After weeks of voting by APRA members, the winner has been announced.

Wintec graduate David Baxter has been awarded the APRA Silver Scroll 2011, for writing the song performed by band Avalanche City.

Now in its’ 46th year, the award was presented at a star-studded event at the Auckland Town hall, on Tuesday 13 September 2011.

About five weeks ago Avalance City’s number one hit, ‘Love, Love, Love’ was nominated among the top 5 songs to come out of Australasia in the past year.

The other fours songs nominated alongside them were ‘Karoline Tamati’, performed by The Adults, ‘Blanket’, written by Annabel Alpers, performed by Bachelorette (Native Tongue Music Publishing), ‘Little Heart’, written and performed by Delaney Davidson and ‘FFunny FFrends’, written by Ruban Nielson, performed by Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Mushroom Music).

Since holding a consecutive month-long debut at number one on the NZ charts in May, David’s band was signed up to Warner Music Group during June and has continued to progress with their achievement.

The song, which was written by Dave, has been used on promotional advertisements for TV2’s Winter campaign, and the album has been released in 20 countries worldwide.

To read the biography for the song, and the development of Avalanche City, visit this link.

Other winners of this award over the years have included the likes of Brooke Fraser, Don McGlashan, Niel Finn and Dave Dobbyn; with last year’s winner being Alisa Xayalith, Thom Powers & Aaron Short with the song ‘Young Blood’.

Music students and tutors busk for Cancer

On Friday 13 May Wintec music students and tutors came together at Dora’s Cafe, Hamilton, to jam out some tunes and fundraise for Child Cancer.

New Zealand Music Month’s latest initiative, The Big Busk, saw local bands and well-known Kiwi artists take to the streets in cities throughout New Zealand to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation.

Nick Douch, drummer of New Zealand band EQWANOX, organised the Hamilton event and describes it as “a bit of fun for a good cause”.

“I do a lot with child cancer anyway and I know the main organiser so it just seemed like a good idea.”

The Wintec music graduate “scraped together a band for the day,” with The Lookie Loos guitarist Daniel Reese and singer Megan Berry showcasing their talents.

Wintec music student Mike Scherger later drew the crowds with some original, reggae inspired songs.

Wintec music tutor Kent MacPherson took the opportunity to branch out with the Baglama Saz, a Persian lute.

“I don’t get the chance to play this instrument a lot. I don’t perform very often so it’s quite good to get out and do something.”

Other well-known artists who participated in the event nationwide were Luger Boa, Black River Drive and Avalanche City.

[nggallery id=32]

Music students performing at Flow Bar

flow-gig-posterTwo BMA Commercial Music graduates alongside artists, Stu Larson and Seth Haapu, have come together to play a gig at popular venue, Flow Bar, on Victoria Street, Hamilton this Friday 3 June 2011.

Bringing a diverse range of musical talent, they represent the dedicated, passionate and talented artists that the Bachelor of Media Arts (Commercial Music) degree put through it’s doors.

Read their profiles below, and check out some of their music by following the links!!

stuStu Larsen has no fixed address, no job, few possessions and little money – just a lot of generous friends who seem to let him sleep on their floor or couch, or in their spare room as he ventures onward. He appears to be on a journey of sorts, perhaps searching for something greater than can be found in one’s own backyard. The last months have seen him exploring & wandering all over the world; through Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States; road tripping with friends, playing unexpected shows in unexpected places, staying in the homes of old and new friends all along the way.







RYEFORD available from www.stularsen.com and iTunes.

sethRaised by his singer mother and multi-instrumentalist father, Seth Haapu grew up surrounded by instruments, groups of musicians practicing and the sounds of the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, James Taylor and Rickie Lee Jones. He formed his first group at the age of six with two siblings. Over the next 13 years Seth continued to craft his writing skills as he trained in classical piano and taught himself guitar. Seth spent 2 months at Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studios recording 14 songs for his self-titled debut album. Working alongside musicians such as Godfrey De Grut (Che Fu), Nick Gafney (Golden Horse) and Chip Matthews (Open Souls), the resulting album delivered perfectly to the vision Seth set out to achieve.

For Further Information:

Mark McClung E: mark.mcclung@sonymusic.com               

Mathew Kidd E: matthew.kidd@sonymusic.com

PH: (09) 523 8524 / 021 929 181                                   PH: (09) 523 8517 / 0274988 378

lukeIt is nearly six years since the release of Luke Thompson’s debut ‘Morning Light’, a single that enjoyed 11 weeks in the New Zealand Top 40 chart. The music video featured on C4’s Top 5 and spent six weeks in the Juice TV Top 30 and became a finalist in the 2006 Juice TV Awards  (Best Solo Artist). Several years later the debut album ‘Here On The Ground’ reinforced the early signs of promise, taking lead single ‘Perfect Drive’ hitting the Top 20 and Thompson to wider notice. He toured with Opshop, opened for Toto, Jars of Clay and The Fray and headlined his own tour all over New Zealand. Fast forward three years and Thompson spends much of his time in Tauranga, recording both his own music and other musicians’ projects at his studio in Welcome Bay.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Josie Campbell on 021 907070 or management@lukethompsonmusic.com.


nickNick Kraenzlin is one of the most travelled musicians the Waikato has to offer. Germany, Saipan, Guam, Tonga, Wales, and the USA have all been home at some point for this singer-songwriter. Nick has carried on the musical tradition of his family, which spans three generations of musicians by pursuing music studies at Hamilton’s Vision College and the Waikato Institute of Technology. Formerly of Waikato band “Eshalon”, Nick is now pursuing a solo career with a session band, with which he recorded a demo for his forthcoming album Wait for the Morning in late 2010. With a broad background in contrasting cultures and experience in youth work, retail, and building, Nick Kraenzlin’s music is characterized by a diverse approach to expressing music. His performances are marked by their eclectic flavour and compelling lyrics, which will both entertain and intrigue audiences of all ages and walks of life.

Web:  http://www.myspace.com/nicholaskraenzlin

Email: jnkranzlin@yahoo.co.uk

Warner Music Group love, love, love Avalanche City

[singlepic id=667 w=320 h=240 float=left]Media Arts graduate Dave Baxter has just been signed up by United States recording giant, Warner Music Group, receiving a global deal for his band Avalanche City.

This puts them among a massive range of top-selling artists including The Beegees, Seal, Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Linkin Park, Ramones, Paramore and My Chemical Romance, to name a few.

Meeting with music publishing executives Sony/ATV, manager Matt Coleman tells of the band’s success so far in New Zealand, which is definitely something to be proud of.

“It’s been the fastest selling debut number one for a New Zealand group since they started recording digital music”.

With his guitar in hand, Dave has been walking the streets of New York City determined to get his music into the limelight on a world scale, and he is now well on his way.

ATV’s John Campanelli is a fan and works within a billion dollar global market which puts music to television advertisements and commercials.  Speaking on TVNZ’s Close Up last night he confers that Avalanche City is definitely a band to keep an ear out for.

Avalanche City is probably one of the best sounds I’ve heard coming out of Australia and New Zealand right now”.

Despite this shot to the big-time, Dave still has his feet firmly on the ground, temporarily living in a tiny hotel room (including a man-made fort) with his wife and his cello player.

“I didn’t really expect to be on big TV.  I’ve talked to more people live on TV (here) than we have in New Zealand, so that’s a big thing”.

After playing their first gig in New York and showcasing to their new label, Avalanche City was met with massive rapport from a room packed with enthusiasts and supporters.

“Love, love, love is a smash, it’s going to be a worldwide hit”, expresses a fan.

Dave Baxter graduated with a Bachelor of Media Arts (Commercial Music) from Wintec’s School of Media Arts in April 2005.

Watch Dave Baxter’s interview with Close Up here

Watch Dave speak with ABC news alongside Dane Rumble here

2010 Honours graduate wins worldwide guitar scholarship

screenshotGabe Dovaston has recently been announced as the runner-up for internationally-acclaimed scholarship, “The Steve Vai Scholarship”.

 After entering the world-wide guitar competition earlier this year for a chance at winning a fully paid one-year scholarship, Gabe recently received news of his place as runner-up.

The partial scholarship covers half of the 5000 pounds that it costs to study the one year Higher Diploma Guitar Course at ‘The Institute‘ in London, England.

Gabe first graduated from Wintec with a Bachelor of Media Arts (Commercial Music) in March 2009, and later graduated with a BMA Honours (first class) in April 2010.

It looks as though all of that study and dedication has paid off, with a new endeavour ahead of him for the coming year, starting studies in October 2011.

” I didn’t win…but out of the whole world I came second (Steve Vai chose me as runner up) winning the partial scholarship which is half the course paid”, says Gabe.

New Zealanders ‘Love Love Love’ David Baxter!

The first ever BMA Commercial Music graduate to make it to the number one spot on the music chart, has definitely done it justice.

David Baxter, who is Avalanche City, has held the number one spot on the NZ Top 40 singles chart for two weeks consecutively, as of 23 March 2011, with the single Love Love Love.

This is also the feature song for the latest TV2 promotional advert, Tv2 together 2011.

Dave studied at Wintec from 2002 until 2004 and graduated with a Bachelor Media Arts (Commercial Music) on April 6th 2005.

The story of Avalanche City begins in a house; alone, for hours and hours each day for months, slowly learning how to sing by process of scales, recording, and self critique.

Six months after taking the first steps towards singing, Dave Baxter played his first solo show as Avalanche City. Six months after the first show, one year after beginning the process of teaching himself how to sing, the first tracks were laid for Avalanche City’s debut album Our New Life Above The Ground.

Armed with a sack full of vegetarian single serve curries Dave Baxter headed into the countryside and moved into a little community hall called the Kourawhero Hall, just north of Auckland.  There he spent the week alone recording and playing everything himself with only the cows and the milk trucks as company.

The album was available free to download for four months.  After 11,000 downloads and a brand new EP just released it became time to stop the download and sell the album with the EP Snow as a deluxe 2-disc package.

If you like what you’re reading and hearing on the radio, then check out Avalanche City’s facebook page, and keep up to date with their upcoming shows.

This Facebook post reveals their reaction to the love that New Zealander’s  are showing them.