Our regional team is traveling across the state to connect with the artists, venues, and industry in their regions. Towards the end of last month, Sophie Jones, who is our Regional Coordinator, for the Central West, Outback and West Darling regions, had the opportunity to travel with Kylie Shead from Arts Outwest from Bathurst to Trangie to Cobar to Broken Hill to meet with musicians, venues, industry - and see a lot of red dirt! Here she shares her reflections on the trip.
Our first stop was to check out the Trangie Truck and Tractor Show that had Cobar band Ballz N All playing. It was excellent to meet with Mark Kotynia, who is a champion of live music in Cobar and the Far West and is helping set up a brand new festival, Bands In The Bush. It was also great to catch Kahlia Martin shredding and singing in the band too! Then onto Cobar (via The Big Bogan in Nyngan, of course!) where we were able to catch a live set from Shane Josephson (JoSo) at the Cobar Bowling and Golf Club and meet with Cobar musicians, Jake Muldoon (Charged Up) and Stuart Taylor (musician in multiple bands around the region and founder of brand new business, Farwest Musos, a Cobar based promotion group supporting local bands in the area).
Before we left on Sunday morning, we went and checked out the Sound Chapel - a permanent ?sound installation set in an old disused water tank from 1901 and inspired by the vast landscape of the Australian outback. It is a cross-disciplinary artwork, combining sound, architecture, art, poetry and the natural environment in a unique and site-specific context. It functions as a digital 4-channel string quartet lasting 24 hours, played on a loop, day and night, whether someone is listening or not - MAGIC!
We then jumped in the car and drove deep into red dirt country and made our way to Broken Hill - what a magical, inspiring place for artists! It was great to spend our time in Broken Hill with the amazing Cathy Farry from West Darling Arts, who showed us around the town and took us for a drive out to the Mundi Mundi Plains (just a few days after the Mundi Mundi Bash) and to the iconic Silverton Pub. Great to meet with Armando from Theatre 44, Kathy from Broken Hill Art Gallery, Max from The Broken Hill pub, Peter from Broken Hill Music, check out the Civic Centre and also Neil Pigot's space that will become The Petrichor Bar by the end of the year. A highlight for me in Broken Hill was hanging out at the ICONIC Palace Hotel with local musos Alexandra Rosenblum, Oliver Dear, Fleur Wiber, Sharna Burcher and Bowden McAllister from Echo Lanes. It was great to also meet with Leroy Johnson and Tom Henderson at the West Darling Arts office, right off the back of Leroy’s amazing performance at the Mundi Mundi Bash with his band. It was great to hear about the Wilcannia Public School choir, which performed alongside Leroy on the main stage.
I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to connect with all these music champions in these far west regions and can’t wait to get back out there soon.