I originally composed this piece as a simple children’s song. The transliterated word Cooee comes from the Dharug Aboriginal language, the First Contact Australian Aboriginal language of the place the English renamed Sydney. Soon after the English landed in 1788, … Continue reading Composing Kaouwi Two Children Cooee for The Song Company’s “Songs from the Heart”
At Newcastle’s Christ Church Cathedral yesterday, The Song Company performed Songs from the Heart, a mainstage program of twenty four SSAATTBB choral responses to the Uluru Statement from the Heart from three Australian First Nations composers – Dharawal soprano Sonya … Continue reading Songs from the Heart at Christ Church Cathedral with Antony Pitts, Sonya Holowell, Elias Wilson and The Song Company
In 2017 I composed Yoora Tattoo, the second movement of my three part Kooranginy Spinning Suite. In this movement I set a fife tattoo drumbeat against an Aboriginal “Wara Wara” motif. “Wara Wara” means “go away” in the Dharug language … Continue reading The Yoora Tattoo Saga . . .
https://the.song.company/songs-from-the-heart The Song Company’s upcoming Songs from the Heart tour in September-October 2022, directed by Antony Pitts and Francis Greep, with commissioned music by Sonya Holowell and myself, Elizabeth Sheppard, is designed as a musical interface between Australia’s 252 years … Continue reading Walking Uluru Treaty Tracks with The Song Company’s Songs from the Heart
In March 2021, I was commissioned to arrange the third movement of my Kooranginy Suite (2017) for flute and harp. My arrangement was performed by harpist Emily Granger and flautist Sally Walker, at the NSW Art Gallery’s 150th Anniversary Resonate … Continue reading Koordaboodjar Heartland at the NSW Art Gallery’s 150th Anniversary Resonate Concert, 18 April 2021
Today I attended an ANU Music School Postgraduate Zoom Seminar, to hear brilliant Australian flautist Sally Walker speaking about her wide ranging work as a performer, conference presenter, music teacher and author. Sally’s versatile performance repertoire includes early music, flute … Continue reading Covid Safe Music Performance Strategies : Sally Walker’s Flute Concerts for One
As an Australian composer and singer, I make music that’s deeply engaged with, and inspired by, the vast, wonderful country that has always nourished and sustained my people. My music records and celebrates the everyday lived experience of my generation, … Continue reading Homespun songs from Australia . . .
It seems that the ongoing Coranavirus pandemic has woken Australians up to the important role that local community and country based music can play, in maintaining human mental health and community peace. Dreaming, performing, and paying attention to community music … Continue reading Closing the Gap between Academic Music and Community Music in Australia
As Australia comes to terms with COVID-19 protocols, musicians and composers are working out how to “do” music online. This photo of the first Ngarra Burria concert at Eora Aboriginal College in 2017, shows how Australian Indigenous and immigrant origin … Continue reading Live Music vs. Covid-19 Music-at-a-Distance
In 1788 the British arrived in Australia, bringing European music with them. Sporadic attempts were made to connect with the Darug speaking tribes they encountered, but as Aboriginal hunting grounds were stolen, and disease decimated the clans, diary notes of … Continue reading The 2017-2020 AMPlify Indigenous Composers Initiative / Ngarra Burria Indigenous Composers movement