Douglas Lilburn as a young boy (c. 1917) © Alexander Turnbull Library. Reference: PAColl-7737-1-01
The first episode, In Search of a Tradition, introduces many of the threads which are woven throughout the series, including images of Douglas's childhood from his unpublished notes for Memories of Early Years - a selection of autobiographical sketches.
Douglas's niece, Joyce Hamilton, and niece-in-law, Jeannie Lilburn, talk about the Lilburn family and Douglas's place in it. Philip Norman outlines the three phases of Douglas's music; Martin Lodge discusses the contradictions and complexity of Douglas; and John Murray reflects on Douglas's spiritual side.
Elsewhere, Percy Grainger in 1935 announces a prize for a truly New Zealand composition; Ralph Vaughan Williams gives his views on composing and composers; and Douglas himself talks about his studies with Vaughan Williams in London and the New Zealand music scene upon his return in the 1940s.