The easing of travel restrictions within Western Australia has enabled Tura New Music to organise the 2020 Sonus2 Tour (August 23-September 6) for local communities in the far north of the state.
The free concerts, collaborations with song and dance groups and workshops for primary and high school students take in communities in Kununurra, Warmun, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Kooljaman, Djarindjin, Lombadina, One Arm Point and Beagle Bay.
The tour ends in Broome as part of Shinju Matsuri’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Kimberley singer-songwriters Olive Knight and Stephen Pigram are joined by an instrumental ensemble comprising Iranian percussionist Esfandiar Shahmir, cellist Tristen Parr and flautist Tos Mahoney.
Organisers describe the tour as “a meeting of cultural forces ancient and contemporary, through songs of outback Australia and commissioned music for the tour” featuring “new songs, new works and new arrangements… in a program reflecting the Kimberley communities and landscape travelled through”.
Olive Knight (Kankawa Nagarra) is a Walmatjarri Elder, international blues and gospel singer-songwriter, teacher and mentor, and political activist.
Yawuru singer/songwriter Stephen Pigram has been collaborating with Tura since 2006, and has been described as the ‘king of Kimberley song’ for his over 35 years of composing and performing both solo and as part of the Pigram Brothers.
Tura New Music’s Artistic Director Tos Mahoney says the tour — and its ability to be organised so quickly upon the easing of COVID-19 restrictions — has come about from 19 years of engagement and deep relationship-building with communities in the state’s far north.
“We’re delighted to be bringing this diverse and vibrant group of artists together for communities to experience empowering music and sound worlds,” he says.