Dirtsong, 70 mins, 2013
dirtsong is the third major live musical project of daybreak’s long term collaborators Black Arm Band following murundak (2006) and Hidden Republic (2008).
dirtsong is drawn from Aboriginal Australia mixing traditional approaches and contemporary songs, existing repertoire and newly commissioned music, performed in 13 Indigenous Australian languages.
The project is presented in five episodes with songs and music inspired by the words of Alexis Wright. The performances are accompanied by specially commissioned feature length film that appears in fragments throughout the concert. This was filmed over several months by Rhys Graham & Natasha Gadd on country and in numerous communities around Australia.
Featuring some of Australia’s most acclaimed Indigenous musicians in concert, the musical pieces are structured as musical “conversations” between the collaborating artists reflecting on country, conjuring not only a sense of geographical place but encounters, memories, obligations, community and nature. Drawing inspiration from the songs, text and artists, the film content seeks to extend this conversation and evoke a powerful resonance with the musical journey as a whole.
dirtsong has toured to worldwide acclaim with performances as far afield as the Sydney Opera House, the Barbican Centre, London, The Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver as well as Taipei, Singapore and numerous locations throughout the Americas and Europe.