As part of the long-term vision of the Titjikala Project, funds are being sought to teach western music to the Titjikala community. Second hand instruments are being sourced to allow for such exciting community performances as Piano Phasing, a 20 keyboard/40 player extravaganza, an orchestra combining anangu and other peoples from around Australia, the local choir and the development of the Titjikala Band. These events will create employment and educational opportunities for the communities, developing cross-cultural music making, increasing school attendance, health and tourism.
The Titjikala Project will be staged at Titjkala Community, NT, an initiative by Titjikala Community in partnership with Soundstream New Music. The project aims to address crucial concerns and key future aspirations of this remote Aboriginal community through a holistic approach that is centred on cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary music making.
This project is based on the establishment of mutual trust, enduring relationships and the empowerment of community people to take control of their own futures. It is not a panacea for all the issues that the people of Titjikala face, but it seeks to build on the cultural power of music and focuses on the development of children who will be the leaders of this community in the future.
Gabriella Smart, artistic director of Soundstream, says of the Titjikala Project:
I envisage a transformation of the Titjikala Community, spanning a generation or more, through engagement with the arts that reflects the spiritual beliefs and aspirations of the community. This transformation is not limited to the education, creation, performance and touring of music. It will develop the infrastructure of the community to create employment opportunities through tourism, education, health and audience development. It will allow the members of the community to engage with the outside world on their own terms, with the confidence that comes of education and practical advocacy; to engage with others through their own culture; and to put Titjikala on the map. The outside world will know the community through their rich culture, creativity, success, and strength, not through their inequality.
Tijikala is a small Aboriginal community located approximately 110 kilometres south of Alice Springs on the route of the Overland Telegraph Line (1872); the Great Northern Railway (Ghan) line (1926-1980) and the present day 4×4 tourist routes to Chambers Pillar and the community of Aputula (or Finke in English). Situated on the Maryvale Station pastoral lease the Tjikala community has a population of around 200 people made up of a number of Anangu groups including Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Luritja, and Southern Arrernte people.
Video: Trip to Titjikala by Gabriella Smart and other musicians in April 2016 to teach keyboard and saxophone.
Video: Soundstream premiere performance of ‘Promenade 60’ by Elena Kats Chernin, 2012, Adelaide Town Hall, an example of the massed keyboard event to be performed at Titjikala.