"Echoes" is an epic musical journey through the red dirt of northern Western Australia, drawing together the many threads that tell a story of reconciliation through the power of music and how it connects us all. The film counterpoints this trek with a retracing of Tura New Music’s impressive history. We tour with an impassioned but disparate assemblage of renowned musicians, including iconic Broome musician Stephen Pigram, didjeridoo-player Mark Atkins, violinist Erkki Veltheim and other luminaries of the new music world through the immense Kimberley to communities that have invited them there year after year. The film explores the sonic journey of Tura’s Artistic Director Tos Mahoney and a group of artists who find themselves at the heart of a unique innovative movement that has sustained a prolific flow of musical events across the country over 2 decades. What we end up with is a revealing tapestry woven around tour stories, performances and community.
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
People living in very remote communities have significantly less access to high-calibre, mainstream arts provision than Australia's urban dwellers. Despite an increasing interest and desire for engagement, opportunities for access are limited. Tura's activities are offered in culturally-safe and respectful ways and have a role to play in helping to draw local people into cultural expression and this can help to reinforce their connection to culture and the protective factors it offers. Within this context, Tura has been working in remote Indigenous Australia since 1986, with an annual program of touring professional ensembles and embedding contemporary music and sound artists in remote communities for 2-4 weeks at a time. Tura offers engagement with edgy, cross-genre contemporary live music along with opportunities for new works to be created collaboratively. Tura aims for its programs to contribute to a sense of inclusion, build capacity and transfer skills.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
Driving the evolution of contemporary Australian art music and sound art and increasing access to its performances, Tura New Music works within a values framework of respect and reciprocity, towards cultural reconciliation. The film will create exposure of this very positive reconciliation story grounded in the magnificence of the Kimberley, to national and international audiences.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
We hope the making of 'Echoes' will achieve:
1. increased community wellbeing from participation in cultural activities
2. increased the awareness of the people and culture of the Kimberley - and the issues they face - in the minds of all Australians and the world
3. increased opportunities for ongoing music participation and education and education support in remote Australia (especially in schools)
4. increased career development opportunities for local Indigenous musicians through collaboration with professional musicians
5. all the positives that come from communities seeing themselves portrayed positively and strongly in a documentary of this sort - telling the stories
6. increased government funding for and donations to Tura's Regional Program to meet the demand for our work in remote Australian communities.
7. film awards.
8. high attendance numbers.
How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?
Anticipated audience groups and community organisations representing the film's beneficiaries will be informed about the launch of the film and invited to attend showings through Tura's current partnerships and extensive database. The film will also be shown in the remote communities it features. Special interest group showings, including education, government, philanthropy & business.
ATOM (Australian Teachers of Media) supports media education through promoting the exchange of ideas between media educators across all systems and sectors, advising state and national authorities about curriculum development and policy and assisting members by providing a variety of professional development resources. Films that are supported by Screen Australia undertake to produce a study guide that will facilitate the use of their film for use in school education. Inclusion of an 'Echoes' study guide will extend the outreach of the film (through inclusion of the film in ATOMs online Education Shop).
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
The project has partnerships with communities organisations across the Kimberley. These include:
Djarindjin Aboriginal Corporation
Warmun Arts Centre
Ngalangangpum School, Warmun
Kununurra District High School
Fitzroy Valley District High School
Marninwarntikura Women's Resource Centre
Beyond the Kimberley, partnerships in our issue area include:
The University of Western Australia - School of Music
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University
These partnerships have variously informed the making of the film project in facilitating the musicians working in and with communities, have facilitated the filming itself and the distribution back to the target audience groups. The university partnerships will assist in disseminating the film to its target audiences. Professional relationships with major performance venues in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney may also assist with the dissemination of the film.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
1. Demonstrating a greater awareness of the cultural contributions of people from remote communities (reconciliation in action)
2. Downloading and utilising the ATOM study guide of the 'Echoes' film
3. Hosting their own screening of the film 'Echoes' for new target audiences, special interest groups
4. Make donations to Tura's regional program through its Ancient Newness Pathway https://www.tura.com.au/support-now/sound-connections-pathways/
5. Write to their local member in support of seeking more funding for music education (using the template letter on Tura's website)
6. Showing support for our project through social media
7. Using their contacts to help Tura get in front of decision-makers.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
Success indicators will be:
Box office numbers of film audiences through its theatrical distribution
Box office numbers of film audiences at national and international film festivals & specialist music festivals
TV viewership numbers of film screening on ABC, SBS/NITV (no broadcaster in place; this will take place as an acquisition following the cinema and festival circuit).
The film is intended to tour regional centres in Western Australia, as a 'travelling roadshow'. Taking the film to the communities it was filmed in is of particular significance and there is an intention to build live-music events around the film when it is screen in those communities. In the longer term the desired outcomes can be measured by data collected by Tura on the funding available in its remit area (the remote Kimberley communities it visits each year) for school music education, musical collaborations and regional music residencies that form Tura’s core activity.