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"People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results."
Albert Einstein

Who we are

MODWHEEL is David Donaldson, Stephen Roche and Janet Roddick.


Together they also have a composing partnership and recording studio, Plan 9, creating music for over 25 years.

Making distinctive Virtual Instruments (often from their large musical instrument collection) has always been part of Plan 9’s work. 

MODWHEEL was set up to develop this and to make these instruments available

to other composers and musicians.


After 30 years of experience as musicians, composers, sound designers and recording engineers we feel confident we can put together distinctive, useful and very usable virtual musical instruments for the modern music producer,

whether for soundtrack, instrumental or song composition.

3 people sitting on the edge of an old swimming pool

Photography by Grant Maiden

Plan 9 was awarded the 2021 SOUNZ Contemporary Award Te Tohu Auaha for their album The Bewilderness. You can listen to or buy the album here on Bandcamp.


Some of their recent scores include

  • Pacific Mother (2023)

  • Portraits Of Us (2022)

  • The Tender Trap (2020)

  • They Shall Not Grow Old, Peter Jackson's 2018 WW1 doco that has taken old footage and colorized, converted and transformed it to show the soldiers' experience in amazing detail. 


Plan 9  has scored 30 feature films in addition to working on the last 10 of Jacksons’s movies in varying capacities. Their work for Peter includes full scoring as well as musical sound design, and in collaboration with long term friend and colleague David Long, for the LOTR and Hobbit films, the writing and performing of “cultural” music.


Plan 9 have been nominated for and won numerous film and tv awards both in New Zealand and internationally. They were nominated for the Critics Choice Documentary Awards for Best Score 2019 for They Shall Not Grow Old. Apollo 11 won. Great score!

David and Steve also release their own music under the name Thrashing Marlin having released 5 albums to date. Wildlife was released in October 2022.

Buy or listen to their work at

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