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14TH DECEMBER 2020
Steel City Strings Wins Create NSW Grant for “Earth Connections”
Steel City Strings is thrilled by the recent announcement by NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin of a successful application for $29,000 to support “Earth Connections” in 2021. “Earth Connections” will see Steel City Strings collaborate with two contemporary First Nations composers to create new works that speaks to the lived experience of our local communities.
Over three concerts in August 2021 in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands areas, Steel City Strings will curate and present works which bring healing and learning to our communities ravaged by drought, flood and fire. Recent catastrophic events in the region have highlighted the need to seek out the knowledge First Nation peoples harbour in caring for the land. This wisdom is reflected in their music, storytelling and dance, and offers an opportunity for Steel City Strings to collaborate with Indigenous artists to explore works that reflect connection to place.
In these three concerts, we will celebrate diverse musical performers. Indigenous composer and digeridoo player William Barton features as Guest Artist in his own works, collaborating with local Indigenous composer Brenda Gifford from the Shoalhaven. Brenda will arrange some of her own compositions for string orchestra. Mr Barton said it is “a special time for us to connect through music as our national identity and our uniquely Australian sound.”
In addition, the concerts will feature other works by Australian composers who have been inspired by the Australian bush and landscapes. Southern Highlands resident Blue Robinson will present his poem “Tomorrow is Hope”, written as last summer’s bushfires abated, accompanied by William Barton on didgeridoo.
“Earth Connections” aims to combine music, dance and spoken word in an exploration of ancient and modern responses to our changing landscape, and to be an expression of our communities’ suffering and resilience. A true fusion of old and new that moves and inspires to tell our communities’ stories of perseverance through hard times.
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