Music incubator nurtures fledging talent

A creative arts collective that started out as a means of post-earthquake relief for a group of musicians with nowhere to jam has become a major incubator of Christchurch talent, including graduates of CPIT's Music Arts programme.

The Fledge collective is an event management company founded by former CPIT student Ben Campbell (well know from bands such as Zed, Atlas and All My Brothers) with Tony Piggott, Manisha Lee and Lukas Kelly. It was formed following the Christchurch February 2011 quake, to bring together expertise in business, music production, the visual arts, graphic and web design, advertising, event production, multi-media, video production, writing and journalism.

Talent incubator the Fledge collective has nurtured many CPIT musical arts degree students, including recent graduate Jed Parsons, seen performing with founding member Hera Hjartardottir.

Regular Fledge events such as the recent Heroes & Heroines of Christchurch concert, featuring high-profile musicians Tiki Taane and Bic Runga, celebrate the wealth of world-class musical talent that hails from Christchurch.

In the last four years, Iceland-born member Hera Hjartardottir has taken CPIT musical arts students, including recent graduate Jed Parsons, into the Fledge family. From their post-quake jam and recording sessions, the duo Jed & Hera and band House of Mountain were born, with both acts going on to perform together and separately, here and overseas.

"We became a family and travelled everywhere, from Manila in the Philippines to Iceland and New York, as well as Australia and New Zealand," Hjartardottir says. Jed & Hera also released a single 'Issues', which got to number 15 on the New Zealand singles charts.

During his time at CPIT, Parsons delved into a range of musical genres, including hip hop and folk, and is currently making a foray into indie rock.

His experiences over the last four years have taught him all about seizing opportunities, like creative initiatives such as the Fledge.

"My advice to new students is to use the music school as a tool, and use those skills to stay active in the music industry while studying, by being part of a band or group."

Learn more about Music Arts at CPIT.