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Related EntriesAudio Visual Gallery
Environmentally Sensitive Installation, Outdoor Installation, Temporary Installation and Interactive Installation
Location: Lake Mungo, NSW, Australia
Sound Installation by Ros Bandt

An aural journey into the psyche at one of Australia's mast significant world heritage areas. Lake Mungo is a dried up lake bed which has been a critical vortex of human life in Australia for the last 40,000 years. The land here tells its own story, as 20,000 year old fossil fish are underfoot and pre ice-age formations, along with other geomorphic changes are clearly visible. It is the site also of the oldest examples of human remains found in the antipodes.

High on the dunes surrounding the dried out lake bed Ros Bandt erected her aeolian harp. In these drifting sands its harmonic vibrations poured out into the landscape day and night, drifting amongst the stories and dreams at the Aborigines who carefully tended the site until they were rudely removed by white men 200 years ago. The spirit of this place challenged the composer to come to terms with its history and the immensity at its spirit. The harps and their sounds seemed a conduit back into this primeval landscape. An ancient form themselves, they contributed their vocalisation of the windís voice, sometimes apparently screaming and howling the truth that she was learning first hand from Aboriginal elder Alice Kelly of the local Mutti Mutti tribe - their grief and suffering over the last two hundred years. At other times they softly caressed the fragile plant forms, or seemed to make sense of the stars, growing roots in the earth, reaching upwards and creating audible spatial reference points, by which one might orientate oneself in this overpowering setting.

Aeolian harp construction by Ros Bandt and Steve Naylor.

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Prepared by: Iain Mott
Created: 29 October 2002
Modified: 29 January 2004

Published by The University of Melbourne
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: i.mott@unimelb.edu.au
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 18 January 2007

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