Thursday, 31 October 2019: William Barton and Veronique Serret +

Early Career Artist - Niki Johnson

A fusion of musical landscapes encapsulating the very essence of art culture and history. Two instruments the didgeridoo and the violin hand crafted from the trees of the earth that together transcend upon a common musical ground creating a tonal and melodically grounding journey of rhythmic energy. Like the river flow of life the bird calls of ancient whispers call out from the great escarpment of the Australian landscape to the oceans of our earth and to the universe beyond.

William Barton is one of Australia’s leading didgeridoo players and composers.  Born in Mount Isa, he was taught the instrument by his uncle, an elder of the Waanyi, Lardil and Kalkadunga tribes of western Queensland. William played his first classical concert with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at the age of 17. Since then he has collaborated with many internationally renowned composers including Australia’s Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards, Liza Lim, Sean O’Boyle, Philip Bračanin, and George Warren from the USA. An ARIA award winner for Best Classical Album Kalkadungu in 2012 has subsequently led to more commissions and world premieres of work for didgeridoo, classical ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Through his collaborations and projects, William aims to present the virtuosic potential of his instrument and the richness of his heritage and Australian culture to audiences throughout the world. He hopes they will see this music not just as an illustration of some exotic antiquity, but as a living, dynamic process, requiring considerable technique, stamina and study, equal to that of any conventional classically trained professional musician. He is a powerful advocate for the wider perception of his cultural traditions.

Véronique Serret has established herself as a versatile musician whose repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary classical, folk, rock and improvisation. She is committed to ‘new works’ and regularly collaborates with Australia’s composers. An avid chamber musician, Veronique is a core member of contemporary art music group Ensemble Offspring, improvising string quartet “The Noise” and her own duo project with vibraphonist Bree van Reyk. Veronique was a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra for many years and in 2014 was appointed Concertmaster of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra. During her time in the Northern Territory, Veronique was fortunate to experience indigenous culture first hand performing at Barunga and Walking With Spirits festivals as well as presenting education concerts at Darwin Festival and in East Arnhemland.

Early Career Artist - Niki Johnson Percussion

Circles and Edges - the shapes of movement and sound

- A music and dance performance exploring movement as expression of sound, and movement as expression in response to sound.
I will be performing a 20 minute work on a series of glass bowls of different sizes. Some will contain rocks/nuts/shells that make a delightfully buzzing texture when the bowl is hit, and if the rocks/nuts/shells themselves are hit they make a different sound and occasionally bounce out of the bowls. There will be two dancers: Amy Pham and Sarah King. They will be improvising in response to my work. The two dancers often will move in completely different ways given the same audio stimulus. With eyes closed or open they respond or choose not to respond to each other and too the music. This work explores different ways movement can be used to express. I use the movement of my body to express myself through sound, and the two dancers use their bodies' movements to express through movement.


Percussionist Niki Johnson is a member of improvisation ensembles Ensemble Omsombl, SICKOrchestra and Throat Pleats. Further she works with Josephine Macken on sound design collaborations and improvisations, and performs solo on giant hand made wind chimes. In these scenarios she explores sound, relationships through collaboration, and theatre. She is increasingly interested in mix media dialogues between improvisations and dancers or artists. Watch this space for future projects!

Amy Pham is a trained jazz, contemporary an tap dancer and choreographer. She is recently exploring combining elements of these styles with percussive/techno music as well as live instrumental music into an urban fusion of dance.

Sarah King is a classically trained dancer who also explores contemporary, jazz and urban dance styles. Sarah has a growing interest in dance performances that are accessible and multi-artform. Recently she has been extending her practice by integrating improvised movement with live instrumental music.