A vision, shared across the missions of three Australian institutions, spawned a project whose determination could ripple through generations.

The Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and its Artistic Director, composer Iain Grandage, UKARIA and the ASQ, joined forces with a bold plan to couple Western Art Music with the traditional Songlines of Australia.

The resulting three-year project Quartet & Country materialised in the form of a series of brand new commissions for string quartet and voice. Interweaving connection to country, family, history and modernity, artists William Barton, Lou Bennett, Deborah Cheetham, Djakapurra Munyarryun, Stephen Pigram and Ursula Yovich created works in residency at UKARIA, facilitated by Grandage. The pieces were premiered by the ASQ at the annual Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and are in the process of being recorded for posterity.

The creation phase of this project now complete; the six works live on in perpetuity. Already, Barton’s work Square Circles Beneath the Red Desert Sand is slated for a new virtual reality project in collaboration with the ASQ, Jumpgate VR and Closer Productions, and repeat performances are scheduled across the country with dates to be announced.