Minister for the Arts
and Centenary of Federation
strong theme of the Centenary of Federation has been the idea that
every Australian has a tale worth telling. The arts community is
a vital part of this commemorative year, and acts as an important
outlet for community-based celebrations around the nation.
And, as events marking the celebration of the Centenary of Federation
unfold, there has been a welcome national introspection.
So it should come as no surprise that these themes are being explored
with great enthusiasm by one of our best known arts organisations
Multicultural Arts Victoria through performances of
gifted artists in RHAPSODY IN MOTION.
Contemporary classical music, poetry and the visual arts will fuse
together in this innovative approach to telling stories and exploring
the Australian identity allowing audiences to consider what
Federation means to them. It is a collaboration amongst fine Australian
artists such as acclaimed Koori poet Lisa Bellear, visual artists
Sue Callanan and Heidi Knoepfli, composers Eve Duncan, Joseph Giovinazzo
and Peter Myers, along with a number of exceptional musicians
bringing their own experiences into play in this evocative performance.
I am thrilled to see the Australian National Academy of Music involved
through a string ensemble. A joint initiative of the Commonwealth
and Victorian Governments and the University of Melbourne, the Academy
is a national centre of excellence and continues to provide young
musicians aspiring to national and international careers with performance
training at the highest level.
The centenary celebrations are for all Australians our multicultural
communities, indigenous communities, our bush, our cities, our youth
and all ages.
IN MOTION embraces this spirit, and I congratulate
the artists and organisers for developing this thought-provoking
look at Australia’s past, and the Australia we want in the future.
Producer: Anna Monea
IN MOTION began in April 2000 as a collaboration
between poet Lisa Bellear, visual artists Sue Callanan and Heidi
Knoepfli and composers Eve Duncan, Joseph Giovinazzo and Peter Myers
and myself. The project has spanned a twelve-month period and in
that time the artists have researched Australia’s Federation extensively
in order to form an understanding of the history and circumstances
leading into 1901.
In the deliberation of Australia’s nationhood the artists also drew
upon their personal history, heritage and spirit. And they stayed
connected through workshops, phone calls and email. The aim for
each of the artist was to create new work in their particular art
form, which would become integrated into a performance piece combining
contemporary classical music, visual art and poetry. The two visual
artists took the collaboration further by working together to produce
I asked only two things of the artists - that they came to an understanding
of what Federation meant for each of them and that they stayed connected.
Within this framework RHAPSODY
IN MOTION was created.
of the initiating artists (Lisa, Eve, Peter, Joe, Sue and Heidi)
has responded to the event of the centenary of Australian Federation
without directorial prescription. RHAPSODY
IN MOTION is the meeting of these personal
artistic contributions mediated by the interpretive contributions
of musicians, a conductor, an actor, lighting designers, a sound
engineer, a stage manager and by the spatial and temporal parameters
of the South Melbourne Town Hall in Melbourne in April in 2001.
In bringing together these many contributions I have sought to provide
space for each of the "stories" created by the initial collaborators
to be clearly told. This event does not have only one thing to say
from only one view or feeling point. It is a celebration of diversity.
It is also, I hope, a gesture toward greater understanding and awareness
of the past of this country and of hope for its future.
I would like to thank Anna Monea for her extraordinary generosity
of spirit. And I would like to thank in particular Caroline Briggs
for welcoming all of us on to Boonerwrung land for this event.
Lisas work incorporates several speeches and poems. She is
recreating what could have happened at Federation in 1901, had Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islanders been included in the constitution, invited
to the festivities and the opening of the new Federated Parliament
in Melbourne. Some of her work is from the perspective of:
An Indigenous Elder
Several young Koori Warriors
work moves back and forth in time, from pre-invasion/settlement
to 1901 and beyond 2001.
Bellear is currently working towards a Doctorate of Philosophy
at La Trobe University, and has completed both a Master of Arts
and a Master in Creative Writing. Lisas articles have appeared
in publications including, 'Breaking Through Women, Work and Careers';
'Australian Womens Book Review'; 'The Womens Handbook' and 'The
Koori Mail'. Lisa has a number of published poems such as 'Taxi,
'Empowerment', 'Breathalyser', 'Chops n Things' and 'Spiritual
Ruin'. In addition to hosting 'Not another Koori Show' at 3CR for
fifteen years Lisa has appeared on numerous radio and television
Visual Artists: Sue
Callanan & Heidi
One Hundred Years Now
Centenary of Federation, as with all other centenary celebration,
is about looking back to see who we were then and who we are now.
This piece is about capturing a moment in time, and becoming conscious
of ones presence at a significant historic occasion. By interweaving
a live recording of the audience with a centenary celebration photo
on this same site from the same vantage point, the piece summons
an awareness of a historic event and ones participation as
part of a collective witness. A collapsing of time takes place where
one hovers between looking back, looking at now and looking ahead.
The audience is invited to cast an imaginative glance to the next
one hundred years and for a moment fill the empty canvas with their
vision. Here is an opportunity for the individual, as part of the
collective, to dream a future and be empowered by their active participation
in creating that future
Callanan has a Master in Art in Public Space, and two Graduate
Diplomas in Design and Sculpture and a Bachelor of Arts in Sculpture.
Sue had held 35 exhibitions since finishing the Bachelor of Arts
and twelve of these were in public spaces, including two large projects
involving redevelopment of an open space. Sue has exhibited widely
overseas and in Australia and has created a sound piece for radio,
ABC FM radio, 'the Listening Room' program. Articles on Sues works
have appeared in 'Art Monthly' and 'Monument Magazine'.
Heidi Knoepfli was born in Switzerland.
Heidi has completed a Master of Fine Art, a Graduate Diploma of
Education, and a Bachelor of Art in Sculpture. Heidi has had 40
exhibitions since completing her Bachelor of Art and these include:
Treasury Garden Group Exhibition, City of Melbourne, Linden Gallery,
RMIT Access Gallery, Span Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria
and Gasworks Arts Park. Her works are held in private collections
in Switzerland, Holland, Germany and UK. Articles on Heidis works
have appeared in the 'Australian Art Monthly', 'The Melbournian'
and 'The Age'.
Tiger Snake & Runner of Light
grew out of Lisa Bellear and I both having experiences with aunties.
Aboriginal aunties are wise women of whom she speaks with happiness
and warmth, and whom she clearly loves and respects. Lisa prepared
the index of her Aunty Marg Tuckers memoirs entitled If
Everybody Cared, deliberately selecting words that emphasised
feelings. She recognised that denial of Aboriginal feeling in the
past had led to a melange of atrocities.
inspiring and often despairing words, from 'terrified', 'terrible
disturbance' and 'inwardly timid' to 'aboriginal hearts', 'spirit
men' and 'supreme being.'
followed the path of these dislocated experiences reduced to single
words and all too clearly an imaginative past rose that was tragic
and contrary. I chose the spirit serpents to weave through the non-verbal
instrumental string sections as a symbol of the overriding strength
of these native cultures and their sophisticated relationship to
second piece for string orchestra and didjeridoo follows without
pause. The title Runner of Light is taken from a poem by
Australian poet Esther Theiler. The music explores the interaction
of the negative forces of materialism with the transforming Rainbow
Duncan graduated with Honours
in Music Composition. She was awarded the International Modern Music
Award for Composition, Vienna in 1992 for a work for solo violin.
Since then her works have been played in Australia, Switzerland,
Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Transylvania, Moldova,
the Philippines, Japan and Thailand. International performances
include the 1999 ISCM World Music Days Festival, Romania, (piano
and timpani), the 1999 Asia Week Yokohama, Japan (string quartet),
Tunungan 97, Manila (clarinet trio), Eve was commissioned for the
4th International Days of New Music Festival in Braila, Romania
Pictures from Home
the Federation of Australia is seen as a political action with consequences
for our national identity, one hundred years later, the Republic
of Australia may be taken to occupy a comparable position. While
the current republic debate intertwines myriad elements, the tussle
between those reluctant to change and those heralding change becomes
a counterpoised friction typical of a society. Pictures
from Home is an allegory of this social friction. Its setting
is a domestic dispute between parent and child, on the issue of
change. In communicating her concerns and the apprehension of her
parent, the protagonist distills key threads underlying the republic
debate in Australia.
Giovinazzo is a Melbourne
composer, and current president of the Melbourne Composers League.
In 1995 he hosted and co-produced New Music Now, a series of programmes
for community television focusing on contemporary Melbourne composers.
In 1996-1998 he helped establish 'MikroPolyphonie', an internet
journal dealing with contemporary music. Joseph Giovinazzo has completed
a Bachelor or Arts Honors, a Master of Arts, and has recently he
submitted his Doctorate of Philosophy in the areas of musical composition,
orchestration analysis, and the works of Igor Stravinsky. He has
had works premiered in the USA, Australia and Romania.
Land begins with the recitation of
a text written by the composer, in dedication to those whose sacred
land was invaded in 1788. The work comprises three parts: the dedication,
which is accompanied by drone-like material and functions as a prelude;
the piece proper; and a return to the drone-like material, which
functions as a postlude. Sacred Land can be regarded as a
symbolic narrative on the formation of the land. In the beginning,
the land was flat and featureless. The primordial beings emerged
from the earth, wandered its surface, animated the landscape and
eventually returned. So too, Sacred Land begins with flat,
featureless material (drones) from which melodies emerge, firstly
in the bass but eventually in the higher parts. The piece becomes
increasingly complex incorporating general aspects of aboriginal
music such as tiered, descending melodies and particular types of
polyrhythms. However, the composer has not used any aboriginal music
per se in his work, but has instead utilised general techniques
and expressed them in his own musical language. The work builds
to a climax with thunderous sounds created by playing inside the
piano with heavy mallets, and concludes with a return to the drone-like
Myers studied and later
taught at La Trobe University in the 1980s. In 1989, he studied
privately with Prof. Eugene Kurtz in the USA. He holds a Bachelor
of Arts with first class Honours, a Master of Arts in composition,
a Graduate Diploma in Education and is currently completing a PhD
in composition at the University of Melbourne. He has been the recipient
of many composition and academic awards. His works have been performed
in Australia, Hong Kong, the United States, Italy and Japan, and
have been featured at Australian and international music festivals.
Most recently, his composition entitled 'Whorls' for clarinet, bass
trombone, vibraphone and piano was performed at Asian Music Week
2000 in Yokohama, Japan