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Sonus in Wyndham

Annika Moses is Perth-based composer/performer who is Tura’s 2019 Curatorial Intern and travelling with the Sonus Tour assisting with logistics and collaborating with the ensemble.

“Setting up on the sloping banks of the Wyndham footy oval, Rod (Technical Manager) and I take frequent stops to appreciate the view, as if having to remind ourselves it’s really there. Amber plains stretch out to meet the steep scarps of the tableland on the horizon. Everything is painted pinky-red by the sun setting to our right. All those panoramic postcards weren’t lying; Kimberley views are spectacular, almost unbelievably so.

The floodlights flicker on as the Port Wyndham Crocs start their footy training for the evening. Kids roll up on bikes as their parents unroll picnic blankets. The rest of the Sonus team arrives: Judith Hamann with her bright red cello case, Mark Atkins with didge and guitar in hand, Aviva Endean carrying a clarinet, bass clarinet, and harmonic flute, and our fearless leader, (and fearless flautist) Tos Mahoney (Naomi Pigram had fallen ill and stayed in Kununurra, but has since rejoined us!). Wyndham stars welcome the cold night as Mark begins the concert with a didgeridoo solo.

This is only our second stop of eleven; making our way to Warmun, Halls Creek, Ngumpan, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby, Beagle Bay, One Arm Point, Lombadina, and finally Broome over the course of the next two weeks. At each stop we play a concert much like what I’ve described above; a program of collaborative music making in the cool Kimberley night, audience scattered over picnic rugs and kids playing in the background. During the day we also visit schools to host workshops and interactive performances, met by great enthusiasm, (this morning the kids of Ngalangangpum School were so excited by Mark Atkin’s tune Steam Train that they joined a conga line and steamed their way around the grassy amphitheatre). What’s especially gratifying is to see smiles spread and hands go up when we ask if any of them remember us from previous years. Though this is my first time on the Sonus tour, it is obviously not the case for many of the locals.

I write this in a momentary pause of a drowsy, warm afternoon (they are brief and sporadic whilst on tour). To all the Perth readers, I hate to rub it in, but the weather is fantastic. I think the Sonus team will be rather ill-prepared for the Fremantle climate at our end-of-tour show at Freo.Social. Turn the heaters on before we get back, will you?”

– Annika Moses

‘Moh’ Pieter Westerbeek is a Wyndham-based writer/curator/community stalwart.

“The Ngarranggarni provided us with a delightful Tanztheater nod to Pina Bausch when Tura presented ‘Sonus’, their concert at the Wyndham Oval, in front of the Port Crocs’ floodlit footy practice. We sat on rugs and chairs in our Winter woolens, removing our gloves only to applaud each song. On the sward between us and the ensemble, kids and toddlers played and danced, and above us the Kimberley stars sparkled.

Mark’s songs drove the recital: his guitar, didge and voice taking us on journeys spatial and spiritual. Tos’s flute rode gunshot, firing off shakuhachi commentaries. On board Judith and Aviva, renowned composers and soundshapers in their own right, not only ebbed and danced in, around and through the music, but gave memorable solo performances on their respective strings and reeds.

Only the spirit of Wyndham could contrive such an event of happy beauty. Tura continues on to Warmun and on through the Kimberley. They’ll be back in Warmun for a residency in August and another Tour in Kununurra in October, amd we look forward to seeing them next year.”

– ‘Moh’ Pieter Westerbeek

Setting up at Wyndham Oval | Image by Annika Moses