Friday, January 15, 2010

Ensconced in the Apple Isle, hardly noticing the net withdrawl.

I have indeed stolen V until the end of January (actually, to be more accurate, the beginning of February), and am holding her captive in my little island home state. It’s been a lot of fun to be here, and made of awesome to have finally managed to drag her down here to show her the stuff I’m often rambling on about. It’s come at a particularly fortuitous time for me, but anyways, on with the postings… the dialup here chez Mum has only made me more remiss with the whole regularity thing, though I s’pose that’ll be made up for with the photo splurge we’re sure to post once we’re back to a connected (civilised?) space.

I felt extraordinarily privileged to see a performance by Ash Dargan last night, with my Mum and Auntie Eva, along with a full house at the Peacock Theatre in the Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart. (Just an aside – Auntie Eva actually isn’t a blood relation, but bears the title as an Elder of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.)

Ash is from the Northern Territory, a member of the Larrakia people, and he performs his music, the music of his Dreaming in the spirit of cultural education. His performance was part of the Mo Fo expo-festival-y thing that’s happening in Hobart atm, and was (amazingly) free. If you ever have the chance to see him perform, GO. The way he invites the audience to share in his cultural heritage and connection to his Country are truly humbling, and his technical skill with the instruments he uses amazing.

Perhaps it's a shortcoming, but I always find myself trying, after an experience I've found truly moving, to articulate to myself what being moved by that experience means about me. Essentially selfish, I suppose, but I think in a way, also useful - Ash's performance, like the Bangarra Dance Group retrospective I saw with my sister several months ago, their skill, beauty and completeness, seem inevitably to bring me to reflect on the quality of my own life and my engagement with it. It's akin, in a way, to the feeling aroused in a wannabe writer by the sheer grace of wonderful prose - I can't read Neil Gaiman or Thomas Hardy without finding their qualities as wordsmiths transcendent, but the experience is not without a trace of jealousy.

Anyway, I would hate to shift the focus away from the beauty of Ash's performance, so if you get the chance, in whatever form, try to experience his music, and the glimpse of his culture that he is generous enough to share. It truly is a privilege to have the opportunity.

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