The Sonus Tour weaves sonic sounds with local collaborations through the Kimberley

21 June – 9 July 2019

Kununurra | Wyndham | Warmun | Halls Creek | Fitzroy Crossing | Beagle Bay | One Arm Point | Djarindjin | Lombadina | Broome | Perth


Tura New Music announces the 2019 Sonus Tour with a program that speaks directly to the places and communities of the Kimberley. The Sonus Tour features Aboriginal star and singer-songwriter Naomi Pigram with Indigenous musical icon, Mark Atkins (didgeridoo, vocals, guitar), and two of Australia’s finest instrumentalists, cellist Judith Hamann and clarinettist Aviva Endean. This ensemble of artists are renowned in their own right, and now come together for the first time to present a wealth of original new music as well as captivating collaborations with local artists.

Sonus is a meeting of cultural forces, ancient and contemporary, through songs of outback Australia and newly commissioned music for the tour. New songs, new works and new arrangements feature in a program reflecting the Kimberley communities and landscape travelled through. Tura presents this cross-cultural journey weaving a rich tapestry of uniquely Australian music, celebrating the sounds of the Kimberley.

For Naomi Pigram the Tour is “a wonderful opportunity to perform with such an elite group of artists and reconnect with communities across the Kimberley.”

Naomi Pigram, who is currently working on the new iteration of Bran Nue Dae, has previously performed to enthralled audiences with didgeridoo virtuoso Mark Atkins on Tura’s Kimberley Echoes Tour in 2018 and the Echo Tour in 2017. In 2019, Naomi and Mark will be joined by ‘Australia’s most versatile clarinettist’ Aviva Endean for the first time in the Kimberley, interlacing her contemporary and cross-disciplinary sounds with their songs of country. The ensemble also features internationally renowned cellist Judith Hamann, who comes directly from her performance as part of Dark Mofo, with a background in contemporary classical repertoire and who has “long been recognised as one of Australia’s foremost contemporary-music cellists”. The sounds of cello, clarinet, didgeridoo, guitars and vocals present an extraordinary and unique fusion of music.

Most significantly, the collaborations along the Tour shape and sculpt the performances. Performing alongside, or in part with, guest artists such as Warmun Elder Gabriel Nodea, and famed Fitzroy Express founder and leader Danny Marr, the concerts present a showcase of local sounds and distinctive flavour. Tura’s Sonus Tour also engages with local dance and song groups like the Waringarri Performers in Kununurra and the Gija Performers in Warmun. This equal exchange of music and knowledge has formed a dialogue centred on artistic collaboration, bringing a platform to communities to celebrate the sounds of their place.

In a world first, the Sonus Tour will collaborate with ABC ‘Star Man’ Greg Quicke in Broome, offering a chance for audiences to experience Greg’s stellar passion with a musical feast from the ensemble. With a growing national and international TV presence Greg will present a special version of his Broome Astronomy Experience exploring the cosmos using telescopes and lasers under “some of the best star-gazing skies on the planet,” interspersed with sections of Sonus music and premiere music created for the event.

The Tour finishes in Perth, with a concert at Fremantle’s newest live music venue, Freo.Social. The site of the historic artillery drill hall will be transformed as the Sonus ensemble joins with legendary double Grammy Award winning pedal steel guitarist Lucky Oceans and other guests for an evening of cross-cultural celebration, wrapping up the Tour with the sounds of the Kimberley in the city.

Tura Artistic Director Tos Mahoney is “delighted to be bringing this rich and vibrant cross-cultural group of artists together for communities to experience empowering music and sound worlds.”

Beyond the concert program, the Sonus Tour will make a significant contribution to the social, cultural, educational and community lives of people living in regional centres and remote communities across the Kimberley through the community engagement program. The Tour will engage with communities through a schools workshop/presentation program which will deliver primary and high school students content from the tour, the expertise of all the artists, interactive processes and performance with music students.

This Tour, as with all of Tura’s award-winning Regional Programs, has come about from 18 years of community engagement and deep relationship building.

“The Tura Program not only mentors and models cross-cultural collaborations but provides powerful opportunities to empower local artists and performers.” Cathy Cummins, Waringarri Aboriginal Arts (Kununurra, WA)

“Tura uses the potent medium of music to bridge the cultural gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. This enhances the cultural and artistic lives of all, and uses the common language of music to bring communities together.” Wayne Martin AC QC, Patron Tura Regional Program