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February 23, 2009

Didgeridoo collaboration

The Canberra Times (Australia):

The worlds of Aboriginal and choral music will merge when leading indigenous didgeridoo musician William Barton joins The Song Company on stage for an innovative concert to open its 25th anniversary season.

Billed as a sonic and visual feast, the concert presents an experience of the Australian night and day, as seen through the eyes of Barton, a man from the Kalkadunga people near Mount Isa. Photographer Allan Chawner's images of the Kalkadunga land will be projected on to a large screen, while the sounds of Barton's didgeridoo combine with vocal music, including scores by world-renowned composer Ross Edwards.

While the photos and vocal music follows a set pattern, Barton said his performance left room for improvisation, meaning each show provided the audience with a variety of experiences. ''It's important to have that freedom of expression,'' Barton said. ''The show is a collaboration a while in the making and to see it come to fruition is really exciting.

Artistic director Roland Peelman, who is celebrating his 18th year with The Song Company, said the collaboration with Barton had enabled the vocal ensemble to explore fresh and exciting musical territory.

''The didgeridoo by nature is an instrument of improvisation with no written score, but we were eager to play around with its use as a classical musical instrument,'' Peelman said. ''Our ensemble can do some amazing things with their voices, but William is a truly unique artist who vocalises the didgeridoo to produce a sound much lower than any human voice could ever sing.''

Posted by acapnews at February 23, 2009 9:16 PM


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