New Zealand’s first Exploratory Sound and Music Open Studio

Art as Sound as Art (AaSaA) is a music and sound  Studio with a difference, taking place in Whanganui’s historic Royal Opera House. It will be held in conjunction with Whanganui’s annual Artists Open Studios (AOS) where you can observe and interact with sound-art and music and learn what exploratory composers and sound-artists do.

On during another of Whanganui’s popular open studios weekends which will see artists open their studios and homes to the admiring public. Revealing what goes on behind the curtain of art in practice, can lead not only to new levels of art appreciation it can also inspire future artists. The tutors heading this three-day journey into the less commercial reaches of music practice hope this inaugural event will do the same for exploratory music. Led by performers Ingrid Culliford, (flute), Judith Dodsworth, (Australian Soprano), Elise Goodge, (Taonga Pūoro) and composer Susan Frykberg, (electronics).

Whanganui is already known for its thriving community of practising artists but many may not know that Whanganui also has a long history of producing highly regarded musicians and sound artists. When Susan Frykberg stayed in Whanganui during her residency at the lovely Tylee Cottage in 2016, she was inspired by the community and soundscapes she found, and the concept for AaSaA was born.

AaSaA, opening on Friday 23 March and running until Sunday 25 March, will enable audiences to get involved in a variety of ways. One can drop in and listen to Masterclasses, take part in public participation events or attend a showcase concert.  Composers, performers and the general public are all welcome. Many events are free and all are affordable. On Saturday evening there will be a showcase concert costing $20 full or $10 concession.

Public participation events – Sonic Meditation, Smartphone Improv, Graphic Scores and Taonga Pūoro (traditional Maori musical instrument) classes cost from $5. On the final afternoon of the event, students will take what they have learned out to the studios by performing in some of the galleries and studios open for the AOS weekends.

For further information and to book tickets visit or


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