Holly Mathieson


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The Horizont Musik-Kollektiv [Horizon Music Collective] is a Berlin-based music group, bringing together the best of NZ's expat orchestral musicians and singers to perform the music of our most talented composers. We aim to be a platform for celebrating and integrating NZ music with masterpieces of the 20th and 21st centuries, and to provide paid work for brilliant kiwi musicians living in Europe. Eventually, the plan is to grow this into an annual concert series, with the aim of bringing as much NZ music, and as many kiwi musicians, to the Berlin stage as possible.

At the heart of the HMK's activities will be a resident orchestra, Rata Ensemble. The Ensemble takes its name from our beautiful native tree, which starts life as an epiphyte, or passenger, perched on an established tree. Without taking sustenance from its host, the tiny Rata eventually reaches down and takes root, merging with the host and gaining incredible height and girth. The ensemble's genesis and mission echoes this non-threatening sharing of resources. It provides a European landing-base for musicians from NZ and the wider Pacific, allowing them to collaborate with colleagues in one of the world's great musical centres, helping their international careers to take root and mature, and challenging them to expand their horizons.

The potential for this to grow is huge. European tours, hosting an annual NZ music festival in Germany, collaborations with kiwi dancers, artists, choreographers, designers… Anything is possible. But I need to persuade some major financial patrons to come on board for the bigger plan. So I'm asking for your help to raise NZ$7500 to help me pay the players' fees, music hire, venue hire and marketing for an initial launch concert in Berlin. I will invite potential patrons and donors, and let the music speak for itself in persuading them to come on board and help us grow. Your support will form the foundation of the project going forward, and will further show to major arts foundations and new supporters that NZ music deserves a place at the heart of the music world.

Migration is one of the few constants in a classical musician's life, enabling us to make our living, broadening our horizons and, ultimately, enriching our music. In return for the privilege of participating in the ancient trade of musical exchange, I believe we should always give something of ourselves back creatively to the communities we visit. So, I'm incredibly excited about providing a European platform for NZ's composers, and sharing our great art with German audiences, and I hope you'll feel as passionately as I do that this project deserves as much support as possible to take root!

A huge thank you to the NZ Arts Foundation for hosting my project on Boosted, and to photographer Swami Hansa for generously donating his knowledge and time to help me put this video together.

For more information on the project, please visit us at www.horizontm-k.com


  • Success!


    Hello all, an enormous thank you again for your support - thanks to you, we performed to a huge audience in Berlin last week at the Piano Salon Christophori. The players were fabulous, and the audience loved the works we chose. It was quite moving to have conductors and musicians form the audience coming up to me afterwards saying that they'd never heard of a single NZ composer before, and couldn't believe that they had just discovered 5 in one night! The pieces worked really well together - a unique portrait of silence, near-silence, raucous noise, and the processes of hearing (or not hearing!)

    I am especially grateful to the composers - Michael Norris, Samuel Holloway, Chris Gendall, Dylan Lardelli and Ross Harris - to the players for their hard work performing such challenging works, to fellow kiwis Andrew Crooks and Josh Whale who were so helpful in the month leading up to the concert, and I was really delighted to see so many original donors in the audience (and enjoying some of Berlin's finest beer afterwards!)

    As for the next step, I enjoyed a cup of tea the next morning with a record producer who was in the audience and is interested to make a recording of the works, and also met with a Swedish festival director who is keen to collaborate on a project celebrating women composers from NZ, so I'll send you details of those exciting projects in due course!

    Arohanui, and heartfelt thanks - from my point of view, this could not have been a more successful launch!


    Holly x


  • Save-the-date! Horizont launch on March 18, Berlin


    Hello all - I'm so excited to start the year with the news that Horizont Musik-Kollektiv's launch concert is booked for March 18 at Berlin's highly sought-after Piano Salon Christophori. I'll be in touch soon with advertising material, but for now, a HUGE thank you to you all for making this possible. We will be performing 5 works by NZ composers, and the concert has already drawn some media attention, so let's hope it will be the first of many great NZ music projects in Europe.

    For now, you can find details here: http://www.horizontm-k.com/#!projects/cee5

    best wishes, and thanks again,

    Holly and HM-K





  • Nearly curtain up...


    It's been a monumental struggle to find a date where artists, venues and I collide in the same city on the same dates - and enormous thanks for your patience while we sort it out! But Horizont's launch concert in Berlin is now imminent! Look out for a concert announcement in the next little while. In the meantime, here's something to whet your appetite!  http://vimeo.com/24411385

    Holly x

  • Thank you!


    Thank you to all of you for donating to Horizont - our funding is confirmed and I have a deliciously challenging pile of music to send out to some of NZ's best Europe-based musicians!

    I would love to keep in touch with you all, and hopefully meet you in person at future concerts. So, if you are not currently receiving the Horizont Musik-Kollektiv newsletters by email, and would like to in the future, just send me a quick email and I'll add you to the mailing list. You can also keep track of our plans on www.horizontm-k.com.

    Thank you again - without your support there is no way that I could even begin to put this project together, so I hope that you feel ownership of the ensemble and enjoy seeing (and hearing) what grows from your investment!

    Very best wishes,


  • Nearly there...


    A happy NZ Music Month indeed - 75% funded and counting! Thank you so much everyone, and welcome to Horizont, all of our new donors. I so appreciate your support and can't wait to start contacting players to offer them contracts for the concert. 

    I'll update you again before the final countdown and - hopefully - when the concert itself is in sight!

    Thanks again for donating to a project that has the potential benefits so many NZ composers and musicians, and celebrates the strength of one of NZ's cultural exports.

    Holly Mathieson



  • meet the composers...


    Wow, here we are, nearly at 50% funding thanks to all of you. Thank you so much!


    As a little reward, here's an introduction to the great NZ composers whose work you are supporting:


    Samuel Holloway: http://samuelholloway.info/


    Michael Norris: http://www.michaelnorris.info/


    Dylan Lardelli: http://sounz.org.nz/contributor/composer/1238


    Ross Harris: http://www.rossharris.co.nz/


    Chris Gendall: http://sounz.org.nz/contributor/composer/1239

  • NZSO shows its support for Horizont!


    Thank you to all of Horizont's new supporters! The project has had such good momentum, and I'm delighted that you're all part of the story. Ever wondered how one 'learns' to be a conductor? Here's an interview I did with the NZSO last week - it shows their support for Horizont, and also tells you about the time I had in their wonderful mentoring scheme last year, including some of the secrets of the elusive trade of conducting... Just cut and paste this link into your browser: http://www.nzso.co.nz/enotesconduct/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eNotes-April2013&utm_content=eNotes-April2013+CID_31c69815bcdba8da1b71ca1acef9d292&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=More

  • A flying start!


    Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to Horizont's crowd-funding project so far. I'm blown away by the support for what I'd like to achieve with this! It's such a strong endorsement of NZ compositional talent, and I'm getting really excited about starting the next phase of the concert planning. There was a great article in the Otago Daily Times about Horizont the other day, and today I've sent emails out to the main NZ/German trade organisations, so hopefully there'll be another surge of donations in the next week or so. In the meantime, please remember every donation is tax-refundable, so for a $10 donation, you get $3 back in tax, and for a $100 donation, you get $33 back! Most importantly, your generous donations won't come to us if we don't reach that magic target, so please spread the word throughout your own networks! here's the link to include in emails/tweets/status updates: http://www.boosted.org.nz/projects/horizon-music-collective In the meantime, here's a youtube link to a performance of Michael Norris' Blindsight - one of the NZ pieces we'll be performing in the concert - to whet your appetite... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuUncJatJl8 thanks again, everyone - your generosity is so appreciated! Holly

Holly Mathieson

New Zealand-born Holly is Artistic Director of the Horizont Musik-Kollektiv and Rata Ensemble (Berlin), and co-directs the Reuleaux Ensemble (London).

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