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Extraordinary tour crosses all boundaries

by Chryss Carr 27 September 2013

R

oper Bar is the point in the Roper River that makes it possible to cross into the remote NT town of Ngukurr. For months during the wet season it is impossible to cross. This is the inspiration for an extraordinary performance piece titled ‘Crossing Roper Bar’ Crossing Roper Bar is a tour and celebration of an extraordinary collaboration between the Young Wagilak Group from Ngukurr in East Arnhem Land, legendary Kimberley singer/

YWG & Paul in suits. Image: Smiley Tobias Titz

songwriter Stephen Pigram and the Australian Art Orchestra [AAO], led by internationally acclaimed musician and artistic director, Paul Grabowsky. Originally initiated in 2004/05 by Paul Grabowsky and featuring the late great Ruby Hunter, this newly evolved version will showcase the ongoing collaboration between the AAO and Ngukurr musicians whilst integrating the gritty-honey like vocals of highlyacclaimed indigenous musician Stephen Pigram. The ‘song men’ of Ngukurr

have worked closely with AAO Musical Director, Paul Grabowsky to create a contemporary rendering of their ancient songs, which simultaneously preserves their rare cultural artifacts and creates a dazzling new musical hybrid acclaimed for its haunting melodies, cultural sensitivity and sheer musical virtuosity. The collaboration is an evolving process that is affected by the unique experiences the touring group has with each local community they visit, making every performance special and unique. Page 1


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Some of Australia’s most stunning locations, including spectacular parts of the Northern Territory and the stunning coastal vista of Roebuck Bay in Western Australia will be the backdrop to a series of special outdoor performances. The tour also includes public concerts, workshops, community collaborations, artist talks and school presentations. “Crossing Roper Bar is nothing less than a collaborative and artistic triumph. Seldom do Indigenous holders of a genuine musical tradition, and one that continues to be performed at home in

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ceremonies, find ways to explore their talents with such dedicated fellow artists, and share the beauty of their songs and dances with new audiences. This alone is an achievement…” says Dr. Aaron Corn, Sydney Conservatorium of Music An electrifying marriage of the very old with the very new, Crossing Roper Bar Tour 2013 is a celebration of country, of ceremony, and of the power of music to build enduring bridges across cultures, time and space. Touring October 11 -­ 29th : Premieres in Darwin on October 11th in the stunning Supreme

Court Building, then travels to WA for a concert at Ivanhoe Farms, Kununurra on Oct 13th, onto Moonlight Bay Suites in Broome for a special Full Moon concert on Oct 20th, for school and community workshops and concerts in Djarindjini/Lomadina, One Arm Point, BeagleBay and Roebourne, a concert at sunset at the beautiful Hearson’s Cove, Karratha on Friday Oct 25th, then Novotel Ningaloo Resort, Exmouth on Oct 27th and concludes on October 29th at Perth¹s State Theatre Centre. For more details and bookings go to: http://crbtour13.tura.com.au

Extraordinary tour crosses all boundaries  

Roper Bar is the point in the Roper River that makes it possible to cross into the remote NT town of Ngukurr. For months during the wet seas...

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