SOUNZ is proud to announce the release of the podcast series – The Magpie House


The Magpie House is the story of the modernist black and white house at 22 Ascot Street, Thorndon, Wellington, where composer Douglas Lilburn lived for over 40 years.

Lilburn was the father of classical music composition in Aotearoa and today the house is a residence of composers.

In this four-part series, Kirsten Johnstone weaves colorful stories from seven decades into the Magpie House, creating a saga of Forrest-Gump-style war and music, Cold War espionage and persecution, the search for identity and a home.

Episode 1: Landfall in Unknown Seas, focuses on the Czech / Austrian architect of the house and other refugees, who fled the Nazis but were persecuted in their adopted homeland during and after WWII.

“People were writing to the police, thinking he might be some kind of spy, communicating things to the Nazis… via his broadcast in recitals” – Tom McGrath

“New Zealand has a long history of immigration policies that discriminate against what were called foreigners and ethnic foreigners. Desirable immigrants have always been people from Great Britain, people like ‘us’ and immigrants. or Jewish refugees were not wanted “- historian Ann Beaglehole

Episode 2: The Vegetable Club tells the story of an actual vegetable cooperative in which the first owner of the house, senior diplomat Richard Collins and his friends, were targeted by the special branch of the New Zealand police at the height of cold war paranoia. .

“They were caught off guard and unable to refute what was being said about them. It was all a secret. And people were like, oh, that doesn’t happen in New Zealand. I said, well, yeah, that ‘is the case “- Sarah Lake

Episodes three and four explore the end of Douglas Lilburn’s life, his pioneering work in electronic music, his relationships with friends and community and his lasting legacy, as well as the present and future of Little House of Ascot Street.

The series is expertly created and hosted by Kirsten Johnstone who recently produced The Lake for Stuff podcast series. Kirsten is a music journalist and former producer and presenter for RNZ.

Additional research by biographer JaneTolerton ONZM, whose books include Ettie Rout, a safer sex pioneer in New Zealand and

But I changed all that: the “first” New Zealand women.

Release date:

Episode 1: Landing in Unknown Seas

Release date – November 22

Episode 2: The Vegetable Club

Release date – November 29

Episode 3:

Release date – December 6

Episode 4:

Release date – December 13

© Scoop Media


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