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.
“My objective is to create an immersive world of seasonal change and climatic variation, where language and story are woven into a compelling soundscape underscored by music and natural sound.”
Daniel Browning, Curator, Aboriginal Journalist and Radio Broadcaster.
“It is now more important than ever that we listen to the First Peoples of this country and learn from their deep wisdom on how the seasons operate in the Kulin Nation. SEASONS in Blak Box gives us an opportunity to listen, learn and reflect.”
Dr Jessica Olivieri, Urban Theatre Projects, Artistic Director.
“The site of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria has long formed the ancestral lands of the people of the Kulin Nation. By bringing the voices of this community’s Elders onsite, we hope to foster and deepen the conversation between the First People of the continent and the wider Australian community and recognise this culturally significant site’s important history.”
Professor Tim Entwisle, Director & Chief Executive, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
SEASONS in Blak Box
Date: Fri 6 March – Sun 5 April
Times: Tue – Sun, 6pm & 7.15pm | Fri & Sat, 6pm, 7.15pm & 8.30pm. Closed Monday.
Duration: 50 minutes
Location: Melbourne Gardens, Observatory Lawn
Cost: $22, $15 concession
Bookings and further information: www.rbg.vic.gov.au