Daniel Wilfred, voice and clapping sticks, Jenny Barnes, voice, Bae Il Dong voice, Simon Barker drums.
Filmed during rehearsals and premiere at OzAsia Festival in Adelaide October 2017.
Video shot and edited by Daniel Peek
The Australian Art Orchestra under the direction of composer/trumpeter, Peter Knight, imagines a future in which truly new music that engages Asian, indigenous and western influences is part of the cultural fabric of our region.
A new collaborative work that brings together two of the most distinctive and expressive vocal practices in the world: Yolngu manikay (song) tradition from north east Arnhem Land, and Korean p’ansori ‘street opera', and features two of these traditions’ most eminent exponents, Daniel Wilfred (Arnhem Land) and Bae Il Dong (Seoul). To our knowledge this is the first ever meeting of its kind.
The p’ansori tradition involves years of isolated practice in the mountains spent singing into waterfalls to develop volume and intensity. Bae Il Dong lived with a waterfall in Korea. He slept and ate next to it, sat with it, and sung against this waterfall for 7 years in order to produce the incredible sound audiences at OzAsia will experience.
Yolgnu manikay is one of the oldest continuously practised music traditions in the world and consists of a series of songs, passed down through generations from the ancestral beings that originally shaped and named the Yolngu homelands in Arnhem Land. These are sacred ritual songs, but are also songs about the land, and the plants, animals, people and spirits that inhabit it. The songs were forged in the heat of north east Arnhem Land, a very different environment to the mountains of South Korea and while manikay and p’ansori embody very different approaches to human voice sound there is also much that also links these approaches: stories, improvisation, a focus on extreme refinement of vocal techniques, and repetitive/hypnotic rhythmic elements, along with a sense of voice that rises from the earth.