Martin Curtis





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Otago My Home DVD

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The Old Hearth Wall

Gin & Raspberry (listen to sample)

Sarah McPhee

The Daisy Patch (listen to sample)

The Cry of the Kaka

Cardrona River

One Up Two Down / The Mouse in the Oven

Squadron 104

Ghosts of the Gorge

A Climber's Moon (listen to sample)

Otago My Home (listen to sample)



Many of Martin Curtis's songs paint a picture in words of life in the beautiful part of New Zealand in which he lives. His songs about the miners, the settlers and the history of Otago are influenced by the mountains, the forests and the wide open tussock country of the foothills of the Southern Alps. Because of the visual connection between his songs and the surroundings, Martin first thought of making a video over ten years ago, but it took a long while to find a filmmaker who shared his enthusiasm for the songs and the places that inspired them.


After 4 years in production, his latest project "Otago My Home" has been released in conjunction with Mike Balk of the The Photographers studio in Wanaka. Mike spent many hundreds of hours filming and editing the video and searching out archive material to include with his own footage. The video is in full stereo sound and includes 11 of Martin's songs, all filmed on location in various parts of the scenic Upper Clutha area. Songs such as "Gin & Raspberry", "One Up Two Down" and "Cardrona River" were obviously filmed close to home, but the pair travelled much further afield to provide the correct backdrop for songs such as "The Cry of the Kaka" (the alpine Matukituki valley), "Ghosts of the Gorge" (The Cromwell gorge) and "The Old Hearth Wall" (the old gold mining town of Bendigo). To film "A Climber's Moon," Martin and Mike had to carry all the camera equipment up the Rob Roy stream in the Mount Aspiring National Park, in order to shoot the footage in the spectacular surroundings of the hanging Rob Roy Glacier.


The live filming has also been supplemented with additional historical footage of the early days of New Zealand - not only of the gold miners and settlers, but also authentic war sequences and photographs in Martin's song about the Anzacs ("The Daisy Patch") and in his composition about his father in the Royal Air Force in war-torn Italy (“Squadron 104.”)


Some of the visual sequences are quite stunning, filmed as they are in arguably the most beautiful part of New Zealand. Many purchasers of the video have telephoned and emailed us to say how much they have enjoyed it. For ex-pats overseas, it is a tremendous souvenir of home, and copies have already gone to the UK, Australia, USA, the Czech Republic, Bolivia, Austria and Finland to name but a few countries. It makes a real kiwi Christmas present for friends and family overseas, or even at home for that matter.



The DVD can be ordered directly from Martin. Click here for full details.


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New DVD Project


Martin Curtis and Mike Balk have already started work on their next DVD production. This time the main theme is to be many of Martin’s songs about New Zealand’s native wildlife and its fragile environment of forest, mountain and seashore. This project is a much more challenging one, as filming the songs in cooperation with native birds such as yellow eyed penguins, kakapo, takahe and keas involves a lot of time and patience. However 6 songs are already well under way, and the most rewarding so far has been the very successful filming of “Hoiho.” It involved three days work in the Catlins region of South Otago, being chased by sea-lions, shivering in the pre-dawn chill waiting for the penguins to emerge from the scrub and head out to sea for the day, and then being eaten by sandflies whilst waiting for them to return at night. It was a wonderful experience, and our time in the bush also gave us some great footage for songs such as “Rainforest” and “The Silent Forest.” Also to be included on this DVD is Martin’s ever popular humorous poem about two keas causing mayhem on a hut roof. There will be no doubt that the filming of this story will be very entertaining, and will be much enjoyed by the keas themselves!


Having purchased a good video camera, Martin is helping Mike with additional footage on this project, filmed on many of his trips to some of our wilder places. It is a new role that he is enjoying immensely. He already has a couple of hours of footage taken in the Murchison Mountains of Fiordland, home of the highly endangered takahe, thought to be extinct until 1948 when they were rediscovered.   


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