In January 2020, 15 artists joined on Wadandi Noongar boodja in the south-west of Western Australia at a shack on the edge of Meelup Regional Park. Across a week of playing, chatting and devising the group produced hours of music and performances. This recording documents two pertinent plays at different transition points in the day: a moonrise at Meelup Beach (Noongar: place of the moon rising) and a dawn at Boranup forest (place of the male dingo) amongst the Karri trees. The recordings are presented here in two side-length pieces, framed by shorter episodes that foreground the play (and downright silliness) that happened a lot of the rest of the time, and which nurtured these otherwise mysterious and sonically expansive pieces.
This music embodies questions: how do the sounds we make, with our differing backgrounds and experiences, belong together? How do they, and we, belong to these places, which we are part of as visitors? In recorded music, the empty stage is replaced by the immediacy of the "play" button, and in many concert settings, the process of the stage being filled is as manicured as possible - what do we lose when we lose the blurred boundary between the "before" and "during" of music?
Group member Jim Denley writes in his accompanying essay, "Music for the Boranup Forest": "If we are sometimes somewhat naïve and clumsy with our gestures developed in our city dwellings, and that we have brought into the forest technologies designed for different places – our electronics, flutes, saxophones, tuning systems – then at the very least, in this active engagement through playing, they get modified by Boranup. If we keep trying – engaging in activity like this – the hope is we’ll re-grow or re-wild our music, and the forest will, once again, hear human sounds, (outplaying the bulldozer, SUV and chain saw), as tall as the Karri.”
The album is accompanied by a collection of written works and images hosted on Disclaimer Journal.
released April 6, 2021
Rhys Butler (alto saxophone)
Simon Charles (soprano saxophone, shakuhachi)
Eduardo Cossio (electronics)
Luke Cuerel (alto saxophone)
Jim Denley (flute)
Julia Drouhin (voice, electronics, objects)
Jameson Feakes (mandolin)
Be Gosper (voice, objects)
Noemie Huttner-Koros (voice)
Lenny Jacobs (percussion)
Annette Krebs (amplified string instrument)
Annika Moses (voice)
Josten Myburgh (clarinet, alto saxophone)
Stuart Orchard (guitar, objects)
Daisy Sanders (voice)
Recorded and edited by Josten Myburgh & Stuart Orchard
Mastered by Dan O’Connor @ENCODERSound
Artwork by Annika Moses
Typesetting by Josten Myburgh
Accompanying texts by Eduardo Cossio, Jim Denley and Noemie Huttner-Koros
Texts edited by Liang Luscombe and Joel Stern
Text and website layout by Public Office
With thanks to Gabriel, Ruth, James, Matthew, Liang, Georgia, Joel & Alisa.