Auckland Philharmonia and Colenso take a leaf out of the modern musical playbook

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  • October 16, 2012
  • Ben Fahy
Auckland Philharmonia and Colenso take a leaf out of the modern musical playbook

In a world where The Ridges get their own TV show, celebrities get the headlines and fans froth at the mouth over One Direction or Justin Bieber, it's not surprising there's a belief that the lowest-common denominator is on the warpath. It certainly makes things tough for some of the more high-brow pursuits, but rather than simply take the government's funding decision on the chin, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Colenso BBDO have released a charity single called ‘Soundtrack to Auckland’ to help rally support for its cause from Aucklanders. track is a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and is set to a beautiful slow motion online film of Auckland produced by director (and ex-Colenso bod) Jae Morrison of Thick as Thieves. Leading pop acts Kids of 88, Luger Boa and Weird Together have each produced exclusive remixes of the track (the single can be downloaded for $1.79 and a package including the remixes is available for $3.99 on iTunes). 

In an effort to remain relevant orchestras all over the world have collaborated with their modern musical counterparts, and APO certainly fits into that category, working with the likes of Shapeshifter, Serj Tankian, the Topp Twins and many others as part of its Remix the Orchestra project. But, as APO chief executive Barbara Glaser says, releasing a commercial single for download and making a video is new. 

So why make a music video? Nick Worthington, creative chairman of Colenso BBDO, says it's about making sure the organisation's concerns are heard and, by creating a video capturing the best of Auckland—"from the good to the grimy"—sending APO to #1 in the charts for the first time in its history. 

And according to Glaser, it helps make a serious point to be made about arts funding.

"The government is currently undertaking a review of the orchestral sector, and this video is a way of rallying support at a time when Wellington is considering how funds are allocated. It’s wonderful that Kids of 88, Luger Boa and Weird Together have jumped on board. Kids of 88 have even renamed themselves Kids of 1888 for the occasion. A world-class city deserves a world-class orchestra, so we’re letting people know that the APO requires adequate funding to fulfil its potential and to meet the need we know is there. We’re constantly asked to take part in more educational work, more cross-cultural and cross-artform collaborations and more outreach programmes but we’ve reached the limits of what can be achieved on the funding we have."

All money raised goes towards APO Connecting, the APO’s education, community and outreach programme.

Kids of 88:

Luger Boa:




Creative Chairman: Nick Worthington

Art Director: Anna Stickley

Copywriter: Ben Polkinghorne

Senior Account Manager: Angela Vance

Agency Producer: Katie Knight

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Chief Executive: Barbara Glaser

Marketing Manager: Christine Young


Producer: Nik Beachman

Director: Jae Morrison


Music Producer: Ashley Page, Level 2

Music Director: Joel Little

Remixes: Kids of 88, Luger Boa and Weird Together

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