An innovative show combining music and video is to tour northern New England in the week from April 4. It comes to Armidale on Wednesday.
It’s called “Myall Creek and Beyond” and is part of the marking of the 180th anniversary of the massacre to the west of Inverell where some of the perpetrators were found guilty at a second trial after being acquitted in the first.
It is one of the rare occasions where the murderers of Aborigines faced justice.
The workshops/performances will be done by the Kamilaroi/Gomeroi singer/songwriters David Leha – known in his recordings as “Radical Son” – and Quarralia Knox.
David said: “Participants in the workshops will gain experience in singing and songwriting and contribute to a new creative work that builds on responses to the story of Myall Creek.
“In the process they will also learn the facts about the Myall Massacre and why it remains significant to Australia today.”
David Leha has worked with festivals around Australia and his style of performance is strong and up-front, merging music from the indigenous Australian to hip-hop. It’s been called “potent and sublime”.
His co-presenter, Quarralia Knox, comes from a family of musicians in Tamworth. Her paternal grandfather, Roger Knox, and maternal grandmother, Auriel Andrew, are Aboriginal country music legends while her father, Buddy Knox, tours the country and the world with his blues band, largely comprised of her brothers.
The touring show is part of a project by the New England Regional Art Museum whose director, Robert Heather, said: ““These workshops are an opportunity for young people across the region to work with one of Australia’s leading indigenous singer-songwriters to create a new work that will help to explore a significant historical event that happened in our region, and how it still has effects upon communities today.”
The New England Regional Art Museum has been working with the National Committee of the Friends of Myall Creek to develop a series of events and exhibitions that will help to focus attention on the 180th anniversary of the Myall Creek Massacre of 1838 and the trial of the perpetrators.”
“Myall Creek and Beyond” is at the Armidale and Region Aboriginal Cultural Center and Keeping Place, Kentucky Street, from 10.30am to 1.30pm, and at the Oorala Aboriginal Centre, University of New England, from 5 to 8pm.