Story: Lilburn, Douglas Gordon

Landfall in unknown seas

Lilburn composed Landfall in unknown seas, for narrator and string orchestra, in 1942. It was the second in his early trilogy of works dealing with themes of New Zealand identity, following the Aotearoa Overture and its predecessor, A song of islands. The text of the work is taken from a poem by Allen Curnow, and tells the story of the islands' discovery by Abel Tasman. The flyer pictured is for a 1943 concert of Lilburn's works, including Landfall in unknown seas.

Listen to John Ritchie conduct the NZBC Orchestra performing the introductory music.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero © Lilburn Trust. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Landfall in Unknown Seas/Reference number CDR139 tr1). Courtesy of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-A-MUSIC-1943-01

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

How to cite this page:

Philip Norman. 'Lilburn, Douglas Gordon', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2010. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 June 2024)