The Braille Music Collective was set up in 1981 with the Primitive Art Group at its centre and grew to take in more than a dozen spin-off music groups, each with their own identity.
The Collective offered something new, radical and unique in New Zealand music. Before ‘DIY’ and ‘underground’ became terms commonly associated with fringe musical endeavours in NZ, the collective embraced self-publishing and grass-roots collective organisation.
Their approach to music making was, for New Zealand, a revolution. All the Braille groups played original compositions by the collective members, with an emphasis on non-standard musical structure and collective improvisation. Braille groups were heavily influenced by US free jazz, British free improvisation, European avant-garde composition, art movements such as Dada and Fluxus, electronic music, progressive rock, Asian and Pacific music ... yet their music had its own distinctive and unique character.