STEP INTO THE BLAK BOX FOR AN IMMERSIVE INDIGENOUS DEEP-LISTENING EXPERIENCE AT ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS VICTORIA
An architect-designed sound pavilion will become home to the time-honoured Indigenous practice of deep listening, for SEASONS in Blak Box, from Friday 6 March to Sunday 5 April at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria in Melbourne.
During the immersive 50-minute experience, audiences of up to 30 people will listen to music, natural sound and storytelling, which will animate the integral role of seasonal and plant knowledge to the Kulin.
Curated by highly respected Aboriginal radio broadcaster Daniel Browning, SEASONS in Blak Box is a multi-part sound work that invites audiences to be immersed in climatic and seasonal variation less as a weather event and more as a cultural phenomenon.
“The ancestors read plants like texts. The ebbing and flowing of wild game, the running of fish and the life cycles of plants tell a story every bit as instructive as a book,” says Browning.
“The idea is to recreate the seasons through sound – be it natural sound, effects or the human voice. What I’ve discovered is that seasonal knowledge was the key to life. You couldn’t live on country without reference to the what was happening in the waterways, deep in the bush and even in the sky.”
“The Kulin seasons were key to understanding and managing country for millennia and given the extraordinary weather patterns which we’ve seen across much of eastern Australia, maybe we should return to this deeply sensitive way of reading country”, Browning says.
Across the several parts of the work, elders and knowledge keepers interpret the meaning and significance of each season underscored by a new series of musical works by composer James Henry.