For Bruce Crossman, composer and colleague:

Sydney is rich in rock engraving sites made by Aboriginal people, traditional custodians of the land we call Australia. Engravings are mostly outlines created on rock surfaces by pecking, chipping or abrading with sharp stone implements. A site may tell a creation story connected to other engraving sites, nearby or far away, thus continuing the Dreaming lore.

Many sites are accessible to the public, but best understood through guidance from local indigenous elders. The figures of people, animals and objects - all 'frozen' in stone - speak across centuries, like voices of permanence. Poet, David Campbell, responded to this in his Ku-ring-gai Rock Carvings.

The rocks and stones in a river, or those that form a coastline, also tell stories - about time and the effects of weather, tides, wind and rain. Rocks and stones continue to be a source of inspiration in my music. From their natural state to their use in the built environment - Neolithic stone circles and dolmens, pyramids, shelters, caves, dwellings and spaces for ceremony and worship - rocks and stones are essential to the idea of place.

michaelathertonmusic.com

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