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ABOUTDale Barltrop / violinFrancesca Hiew / violinChris Cartlidge / violaMichael Dahlenburg / celloInstrumentsManagementPatron and Board
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Home / Australian Anthology
Commissioned as part of Quartet & Country, a commissioning project by the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and its 2016-2019 Artistic Director, composer Iain Grandage, UKARIA and the Australian String Quartet.
Performed by the Australian String Quartet and William BartonDale Barltrop – Violin IFrancesca Hiew – Violin IIStephen King – ViolaSharon Grigoryan – CelloWilliam Barton – Didgeridoo & Vocals
Composed by William BartonRecorded at UKARIA Cultural Centre, Mt Barker, South Australia – December 2017.Stephen Snelleman – ProducerRussell Thomson – EngineerAlex Stinson – Editing and MasteringKingsley Schmidtke – UKARIA Cultural CentreAngelina Zucco – ASQ Chief ExecutiveSophie Emery – ASQ Operations Manager
Artwork – Jim Tsinganos IllustrationArt Direction – Cul-de-Sac Creative
Special thanks to William Barton for his valued support of this release.
Square Circles Beneath The Red Desert Sand is part of my journey through music. It is about the spirits of my land, my country, Mt Isa – Kalkadunga country, coming through the music. Having the Australian String Quartet convey that through those little black dots on a piece of paper, they themselves have their own spirit that they bring to this piece, which is very important; collaboration is so important to a musician’s life.
The digeridoo, the yidaki, is one of the oldest instruments in the world. So too is the violin, the viola, and the cello. Through Square Circles we bring together the didgeridoo, one of the oldest instruments of Australia and perhaps the world, with classical western European instruments, and bring these two cultures together. These instruments, made from wood, from trees, have their own spirits within them; some of these instruments are upward of three hundred years old.
Every performance should be special, and have its own experience. The moments at the beginning of Square Circles Beneath the Red Desert Sand are improvised. When performing the piece, we’re telling a story that unfolds before us. That is my statement – channelled from mother earth and the song lines of Australia.
William Barton, March 2018
A composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, William Barton is widely recognised as one of Australia’s leading didgeridoo players and composers.For two decades, William Barton has forged a peerless profile as a performer and composer in the classical musical world, from the Philharmonic Orchestras of London and Berlin to historic events at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day 2019, Anzac Cove andthe Beijing Olympics.
His awards include Winner of Best Original Score for a Mainstage Production at the 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards, Winner of Best Classical Album for Kalkadungu, ARIA Awards 2012, and Nominee for Best World Music Album for Birdsong at Dusk, Aria Awards 2014.
With his prodigious musicality and the quiet conviction of his Kalkadunga heritage, he has vastly expanded the horizons of the didgeridoo – and the culture and landscape that it represents.
The Australian String Quartet acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and Owners of the lands on which we work and live across Australia. We pay our respects to Elders of the past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land and their continued living culture.
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