The New Adventures of MUSE

MUSE was formed back in 2002 by a group of women wanting to create a safe and nurturing environment for women to make music, perform, and encourage other women to make music too.

The story goes that Irene Pender (who now lives in Derry, Ireland) was sick of being drowned out by loud guy bands. As time went on MUSE came to be a musicians’ network for singers wanting to find accompanists, songwriters who needed singers, for women wanting to collaborate musically in general. Over the years it has been a safe space in which to experiment, to get experience performing and in which to enjoy the ‘womentorship’ of the MUSE Matriarchs.

Many of those original members are still here in Gisborne teaching and performing. One of the MUSE Matriarchs, Tanya Mitcalfe reflects that things have changed since then; it’s much more common to see a female musician performing on stage these days. But she is still a strong believer in creating safe supportive spaces in which for women to perform and have a go.

Many young women have been mentored through MUSE over the years and the Collective are proud of the recent success of two of their protégés, Jasmin Taare and Amy Maynard, who recently won the group section of Five Minutes of Fame on Māori Television.

MUSE hasn’t always strictly stuck to music, with comedy, poetry and satire providing some memorable moments over the years. Who remembers the ‘DIY Plastic Surgery’ performance in which Keren Rickard a.k.a. Professor Parsnips decked Tanya Mitcalfe out in cling wrap, painted her with Twink and used a vacuum cleaner to suck out her ‘undesirable’ attributes?

After a few years hiatus, MUSE is back and Smash Palace is hosting the Collective’s return tomorrow evening Friday August 6, 7pm. You’ll be able to catch up on what various MUSE members have been up to lately, (including Jasmine Taare!) and hear from some new members too, in a diverse celebration of women’s music.

As any musician is well aware, the audience has a huge role to play when it comes to performance and MUSE events are no exception – everyone is warmly welcome!

MUSE is always keen for new members, and as one of the most recent recruits Wendy Wallace attests, it is an awesome opportunity to work and collaborate with like-minded women to celebrate diversity, passion and prowess!

If you’re interested in finding out more head to the MUSE Facebook page.

Dylan Haley – Far Out! Film Night

Meet Dylan Haley, a guy with an infectious laugh and the organiser of the monthly Far Out Film Nights at the Dome Cinema.

Dylan grew up in Berkeley, California, a city well-known for its liberalism. An epicentre of the anti-Vietnam war and Free Speech movements of the 60’s in the US, Berkeley has kept that tradition of radical politics and challenging the status quo to this day. “It’s a pretty groovy place” says Dylan that most people born there never leave. But Dylan did leave, initially to go to art school in New York and then to Los Angeles to “surround himself with artists”.

It was while he was living in L.A. that Dylan met Sarah, a Kiwi lass who had ended up immersed in the music industry, starting out DJing in bars and moving into music licencing, with a role placing music in film and Television.

Whilst Dylan still sometimes feels as if being here in Gisborne is some kind of happy accident, the pair made a conscious decision to ditch the rat race and find a place to raise a family of their own. With Sarah’s family all living here, Gisborne was that perfect place and Dylan reckons that in some ways Gisborne and Berkeley share a similar vibe in some ways; a special kind of soul that you don’t just find anywhere.

Since moving to Gisborne five years ago Dylan says he’s been educated on all sorts of things from beekeeping to growing vegetables to fence building, and he’s enjoyed growing friendships built upon shared interests in music and art. However he’d been here for a while when he started to realise how much he was missing chewing the fat about film with other people who were as excited about it as he was.

For Dylan it was time living next to some excellent video stores, first in NY and then LA that really got him into watching movies. It was always something of a solitary endeavour until the company Dylan did graphic design for opened a film distribution wing; restoring old films, repackaging them and redistributing them. Dylan started doing the poster design for the films – something he continues doing to this day – and finding himself surrounded by film nerds, his appreciation for film and talking about it with others, was thoroughly entrenched.

In his early days of Gisborne living Dylan would wander over to the Ballance Street Village to grab some lunch from the bakery. He’d often stop by at Retro, to yarn with Ro Darrall. When Sally from the Dome Cinema also showed up at the shop on one of those occasions, Ro prompted Dylan to share his idea for a regular film night showing classic films with her. Sally was sold, and in true Gizzy-styles, Far Out Film Night was born.

So what is Far Out Film Night? Each month Dylan chooses a film from his own personal catalogue of favourites. He goes for films that have stood the test of time but that are also somehow a little fringe-y, left of centre, usually with some kind of anti-hero theme, and always with substance.

Getting the rights to screen any particular film is an exercise which can have Dylan communicating directly with the family of deceased filmmakers or the original film producers and it’s a part of the process he enjoys.

On the night Dylan introduces the film, touching on anything from the social or political history which may have shaped the film, to the backgrounds of particular actors, fun facts about the director or the likes. He is passionate about the films he shows, as an intentional curation of some of  the best films that have ever been made. He especially relishes seeing old films on the big screen, likening the experience to time machine travel into the past.

For Dylan the Far Out Film Nights have achieved his own personal goal in finding people to talk film with, with some of the regulars soon becoming firm friends, and for Gisborne people, it’s an opportunity to enrich both our cultural and social lives; an opportunity to step out of our own lives for a couple of hours to experience someone else’s reality, in another time and place.

Far Out Film Night is on the last Tuesday of the month (that’s tonight!) at the Dome Cinema. The doors open for pizza and toasty hang outs from 5pm and the film starts at 6:30pm. Bookings are essential (027 590 2117) because these nights are pretty popular!

Tonight’s film is a documentary about the life of pianist and jazz great, Thelonious Sphere Monk. Featuring live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius, Dylan reckons this is another banger of a film!

Bonus Hot Tips from Dylan:

#1 If you are searching for something quality to watch on Netflix right now, look for the film Crip Camp. Not only does it prominently feature Dylan’s hometown, he reckons it will have you remembering what we are all here for.

#2 If you’re wanting to break free of Netflix you might want to check out streaming platform mubi.com – comparable in price to other platforms, available in NZ and good for films in particular.

You can follow the Far Out Film Night on Instagram @far.out.film.night

Linda Cywinski – Globe

Linda Cywinski

One year ago, as our country moved through the Alert levels out of lockdown back to Level 1, we rediscovered the delights of having someone else prepare a meal for us. Had we ever before had such an appreciation for eating out? Of having someone else cook a meal for us and the little touches like a fern poured into the foam of your flat white or flower petals and a smattering of icing sugar across your plate?

Around the same time, on the other side of the world, in Munich to be exact, a young woman by the name of Linda Cywinski had also been prompted by Covid to ponder a few of her favourite things. At the top of her list was a return to Aotearoa, her country of birth, alongside a long-held dream to own a restaurant.

In June 2020 Linda spotted a restaurant listed for sale on the net. A grand white weatherboarded old lady on the banks of the Waimata River in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, Gisborne. Linda found herself falling in love and not long after, fourteen years after they had left, Linda returned to New Zealand with her parents and two brothers. But rather than returning to Palmerston North where she had grown up, they came to settle in Gisborne, a place none of them had ever so much as visited.

Linda admits it has been a bit of an adjustment from the fast paces of Munich, but she is grateful for the friendliness of people here, the abundance of beaches and the focus on lifestyle amongst Gisborne locals.

As for the object of Linda’s affections, the Marina Restaurant as we know it, is about to get quite the makeover… After six months of settling into her Gisborne groove and getting to know her guests, Linda is ready to make a fresh start.From July 1st the Marina Restaurant will become Globe representing a move toward a more relaxed and communal style of eating and as suggested by the name change, an International flavour. The menu will be designed around sharing plates from five continents, Europe, Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas, which will move with the seasons.

The International flavour will extend beyond the establishment’s interior towards the riverbank, where a large deck is being built to make the most of the location to house a German beer garden – finally, a place to relax with friends on the river! At the heart of the rebrand and change in direction is a desire to create a fun and relaxed environment for Gizzy’s after work crowd, with a focus on encouraging interaction between guests..long tables, tall beer handles and food made for sharing! (Although Linda assures us you can order for yourself if you prefer.)

Talking to Linda it seems this particular dream has been a long-time brewing. Growing up in New Zealand with German parents, she travelled a lot, returning to her parent’s homeland every year or two. Some of Linda’s strongest childhood memories are from these trips; staying at hotels, eating out at restaurants with family and friends, and playing at being the waitress for her fellow diners.

Linda learnt to cook at a young age and her course was truly set when she enrolled in one of the top schools for hospitality management in Europe. She did her internships at establishments with gruelling standards, where performance is measured by a stop watch as well as output. But Linda says she enjoyed the high pressure environment and reckons the crazy fast pace is the fun part of hospitality.

Gisborne patrons to the soon-to-be-opened Globe need not fear a stopwatch approach to service however. Linda is most looking forward to creating a space in which people want to linger longer, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the company of others. Ultimately this is what drives Linda’s passion for hospitality – she relishes hearing people having fun and connecting with one another and is excited about opening an establishment designed around this premise.

Marina Restaurant will close on June 5 for three weeks, reopening as The Globe on July 1 2021 with a three-day launch event, featuring live music and performers, the new menu with a couple of special cocktails and dishes to celebrate, and with a beer garden in tow. We can’t wait!

THE TAIRĀWHITI MUSEUM COLLECTION GOES ONLINE

Last week the Tairāwhiti Museum launched their collection online. 

At any one time, only about one percent of a museum’s collection can be on physical display for the public to access. Creating an online portal to the collection enables people to access more of the collection and from the comfort of their own home or device, where ever they might be.

The museum team have been working toward the launch for a number of years and over 6000 objects of the more than 40,000 physical items in the museum to the website are now available to view online.

Museum Director Eloise Wallace is quick to point out that the museum collection is our community’s collection. Many of the items are family taonga and treasures that have been donated by people in our community.

Bringing these objects onto a public platform will likewise allow for our community to have input on what is known about the pieces in the collection. If you recognise a person or location in a photograph for example, you can add these details into the comments section for that object.

Mr Silk – a black and white photograph from the Tairāwhiti Museum’s collection

Museum staff are also looking forward to seeing how the community uses the resource and in particular which areas people are most interested in, which will help them prioritise which areas of the collection to focus on uploading.

The collection includes fine art, archives, taonga Māori, photography, and social and natural history. It’s a pretty exciting new research resource for our community so check it out and don’t forget to keep doing so as they continue to add to it!

Story by Sarah Cleave

Images from the Museum’s online Portal

Find the online portal here: https://collection.tairawhitimuseum.org.nz

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