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Sweet Sounds Soundscapes Project

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In 2003, Rebecca Coyle was invited to be an Industry Mentor Research for the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Mackay. Her primary focus for this period was to produce a soundscape CD related to the canefields and sugar industry centred at Mackay in Queensland, Australia. Mackay and its nearby villages produce the majority of sugar and it is the heart of what is known as the sugar trail reaching from Cairns to Maclean in northern New South Wales.

The sugar industry in Australia is experiencing a major transition, with the largest stakeholders taking over smaller cane farms, mills closing, technological changes to farming, milling and refining practices, and alterations to trading practices on a global and national level threatening the viability of the industry.

Rebecca’s project aims to reflect several aspects of the sugar industry. These include:

  • operations of the industry at present: recordings have been gathered from a mill and refinery, the bulk sugar shipping terminal, a canefarm

  • changes the industry is facing: voice recordings are planned for representatives engaged in the industry

  • organic elements of the canefields including sounds of frogs, toads, insects and other creatures that are part of canefields ecologies

  • personal expressive engagements with the textures and qualities of the sounds available.

A virtual exhibition of the project will be presented from the Conservatorium website, and available as a work in progress from October [www.cqu.edu.au/cqcm]. The CD will be released on the Coral Music label in mid 2004.

Those interested in more information or dialogue about the project can contact Rebecca Coyle at rcoyle@scu.edu.au.

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Prepared by: Iain Mott
Created: 25 July 2003
Modified: 31 July 2003

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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