Dance through Takapuna with free Songlines exhibition

30 November 2021

  • Takapuna
  • News

Auckland UNESCO City of Music and Eke Panuku announce 'Songlines'.

At the heart of Songlines is a mixtape of a dozen songs represented by record-shaped pavement decals, creating a trail of tunes throughout in the town centre.


Working in partnership, Auckland UNESCO City of Music (ACOM) and Auckland Council’s urban regeneration agency, Eke Panuku Development Auckland, are pleased to be launching Songlines - a free interactive community exhibition celebrating the music of Tāmaki Makaurau in Takapuna next month.

At the heart of Songlines is a mixtape of a dozen songs (see full list below), represented by record-shaped pavement decals, creating a trail of tunes throughout in the town centre. Each decal carries song lyrics from some of Tāmaki Makaurau’s most memorable tracks, plus a QR code that links audiences to the audio on Spotify.

The lyrics are also referenced in displays around the Takapuna town centre which provides the public with further information regarding the artist and song. A converted shipping container at 38 Hurstmere also serves as an exhibition space, featuring photos of Auckland musicians and/or venues curated by From the Pit. The large-scale photographic reproductions further showcase Tāmaki Makaurau’s puoro and the vital role that photography plays in preserving out musical heritage and telling our stories, as well as offering a fun backdrop for music fans’ summer selfies.

“Projects such as these that bring people and communities together, and fill Aucklanders with civic pride, are more important than ever in these times,” says, ACOM Director, Mark Roach. “The chance to introduce people to both older and newer tracks they may not have heard before and take them on a musical journey through our city’s soundtrack is a wonderful opportunity.”

“We’re excited to be celebrating the work of musicians from across Tāmaki Makaurau through this fun summer activation in Takapuna,” says Roxie Haines, Eke Panuku Placemaker - North. “Urban regeneration isn’t just bricks and mortar but an organic and human process, and that humanity is nowhere more apparent than when people are experiencing the joy of music together.”

The Songlines project gives us an opportunity to not only remunerate local writers for the reproduction of their lyrics, but to feature new and emerging talent from the city. Two of the decals were reserved for the winners of the Play It Strange secondary school songwriting competitions which enables the project to promote both the songwriters and the work of the songwriting charity.

With plans for further Songline installations in other neighbourhoods and communities of Tāmaki Makaurau, this first project in Takapuna provides a means to test the idea and gather feedback.

Songlines is free and publicly accessible from 4 December 2021 until 12 January 2022.

The Songlines Mixtape:

The Screaming Meemees ‘See Me Go’ 1981

Split Enz ‘Six months In A Leaky Boat’ 1982

Herbs ‘French Letter’ 1983

Moana & The Moahunters ‘AEIOU (Akona Te Reo)’ 1991

Sisters Underground ‘In The Neighbourhood’ 1994

The Muttonbirds ‘Anchor Me’ 1994

DLT feat. Che Fu ‘Chains’ 1996

Bic Runga ‘Sway’ 1997

King Kapisi ‘Sceems From Da Old Plantation’ 2000

Lorde ‘Royals’ 2014

Morgan Costello & Selohrae ‘Strange Love’ 2021

Melinda Xu ‘Hello’ 2021

All tracks available on Spotify except ‘Strange Love’