The new work tells the story in words and music of the poignant coming together of two cultures, Aboriginal and Scottish, in William and Delmae’s own family history. Delmae Barton, a singer, songwriter, poet, painter and Aboriginal Elder, will put the true story into words which will be the catalyst for the two musical responses created by Ian Munro and William Barton, working independently but with a cohesive overall structure.
Professional performers will include all three composers on piano, didgeridoo and voice, along with string quartet but a special feature of the work will be additional contributions from Scotch College’s Indigenous scholarship students and one or more of their pipers playing smallpipes, an evocative, more intimate version of bagpipes. William Barton is excited about exploring similarities and differences between the iconic drone instruments of both cultures, the didgeridoo and the bagpipe, and will hold workshops with the Indigenous boys and pipers.
The culmination of the project will be the premiere performance, appropriately timed for Reconciliation Week 2018, but in the months leading up to that, the time that both William and Ian will spend with the students during the development of the work will not only give the boys the chance to work with two of Australia’s finest musicians, but also to watch and experience close cultural collaboration.
Donations to this year’s season will largely go towards the commission funding and artists’ fees associated with the premiere performance of this substantial (30-40 minute) work. Already, plans are underway for future performances too – an invitation has been extended to take the work to Boston in 2019 as part of Brandeis University’s MusicUnitesUs program, dedicated to presenting Indigenous music from around the world.
Additionally, Musica Viva has expressed interest in touring the work as part of its education program from 2020 which would extend the musical and cultural experience the piece offers to many more students, some of whom would participate in their local performance.
Your donations will predominantly support the composition and premiere performance of this hopeful and potentially iconic new work but will also support the other wonderful artists appearing on the 2018 series, details at wilmaandfriends.com.au