Bohemian Journey: A musical heritage in colonial New Zealand
In 1863, settlers from Bohemia arrived in a densely forested and rugged valley in Puhoi, north of Auckland. Bohemian Journey traces their cultural heritage as it evolved in a new country amidst a dominant British culture, itself coming to terms with pioneering life. Isolated by geography and language, the Puhoi settlers' heritage of music and dance helped them to celebrate their achievements as they broke in the land and built a thriving community. From Radio NZ: This Spectrum, first broadcast in 1976, marks the 150 anniversary of the settlement of Puhoi, north of Auckland, by pioneers from the central European kingdom of Bohemia. In the 1970s, descendants of the original settlers still retained their musical traditions and recounted stories reflecting a unique way of life and the severe hardships faced by the pioneers.
Twenty-three years ago Roger Buckton moved to Puhoi and discovered a fascinating world of Bohemian music. Since then he has recorded and researched the songs and music and learned to play the Bohemian bagpipe – the dudelsack. Roger is an associate professor of music at Canterbury University, responsible for music education studies. He has taught widely at tertiary and secondary level and has been a school music advisor. His music education activities have included helping shape the national curriculum and developing a degree in Maori performing arts. He was founder and co-editor of the music education journal Sound Ideas, and is now an editor of the e-Journal of studies in music education, published by the University of Canterbury.