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Mike Chunn

ArtForm: Workshop Panellist, New Zealand

Following a notable career in the music industry – as bassist with Split Enz and Citizen Band, General Manager of Mushroom Records NZ and Sony Music Publishing NZ, as an accountant in the UK, an author, a board member on several industry organisation and as Director of NZ Operations at APRA, Mike Chunn is CEO of Play It Strange Charitable Trust. 

In 2002, Mike was awarded Officer of NZ Order of Merit for services to NZ music and, in 2004, he was awarded Honorary Fellowship by Waikato Institute of Technology for services to NZ music - 2004


Biog as for City Showcase 2010


The Background to Play It Strange
Music is the second most powerful, positive emotion on the planet.
Love comes first. Both are mysterious. Why does one person stop us in our tracks, have us focus on them and instill deep within us a longing, want and need for a long-term partnership with them ... and not someone else. We don't know and we never will.
Music - let's talk songs. Songs are a unique construction - words and music. Lyrics that speaks to us in a language we understand; and music - the mystery of which fascinates us. Why does the final coda of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman" always make me want to cry? I don't know - and I don't want to know.
With what I've said, in mind - it is my absolute philosophy that songs are a crucially important seam in the lives we lead. We may not always 'think' about that. We may not always 'listen' in fine detail. But we are affected and a world without songs would be a cold dark place.
This leads me to New Zealand and the songs of its people. We are a young country and our music tradition is little more than a small child crawling on the floor (unlike a country like Ireland where their songs are an adult walking tall and proud - the 'voice' of that country's people and turgid history).
It is important that NZers foster a belief in songs being the foundation of a music tradition. Songs by the people, of the people and for the people. Songs that open a wide window into the hearts of minds of us so that we can mirror our evolution in songs that will live forever.

Play It Strange is about shining the spotlight into NZ schools and bringing into the light, the great that lie therein.

Featuring In:

City Showcase Launch at the War Memorial Conference Centre
Thursday 25.11.2010
The World of Music
Saturday 27.11.2010
Sunday at the Soundshell and Finding the Future 2010
Sunday 28.11.2010
Sunday's competition at the Sound Shell 2012
Sunday 08.07.2012
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