Voices on the wind: Eddies of possibility for Australia's orchestral future

Samuel Curkpatrick

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The musical project Crossing Roper Bar (CRB) is based on a collaboration between Wägilak songmen from Australia’s Northern Territory and the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO). Individuals drawn into this collaboration bring their distinct voices and histories to performance, while opening themselves to those of others. A new, malleable approach to orchestral performance in Australia is the result of this collaboration, which places improvisation at the centre of conversational musical interaction. This chapter introduces orthodox narrative elements of Wägilak manikay (song) that are creatively renewed and sustained in CRB. It highlights how the collaboration demonstrates the compelling play of musical performance that can generate nuanced, respectful and ongoing interactions between individuals, and between individuals and traditions. Amidst the vibrant, cultural diversity of contemporary Australian society, CRB suggests new possibilities for productive and relevant orchestral music-making.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Perspectives on Orchestras
Subtitle of host publicationCollective Creativity and Social Agency
EditorsTina K Ramnarine
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherOxford University Press, USA
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780199352258
ISBN (Print)9780199352227
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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