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Sounds Of The Goldfields recording highlights update

1 Apr

With the recording phase for WAM’s Sounds Of The Goldfields almost finished, we can’t help but be extremely excited about what this project is already achieving. For one, some truly incredible songs have been recorded, so the compilation – due the very end of May, including coinciding with WA Day festivities – is set to be an ear-opener, highlighting some wonderful diversity of talent found in the region.

The media has been particularly supportive, their generosity in sharing these stories being vital to excitement being generated – not only for the musicians involved, but for the greater communities, of which the pop-up studio has welcomed a constant stream of pop-in curious visitors. Big thanks for such highlight media coverage as from The Kalgoorlie Miner (cover page story here); ABC Goldfields-Esperance (televised news story here); great radio coverage from Tjuma Pulka FM, ABC Goldfields and ABC Regional Drive; and GWN7 (their story running tonight/Monday!).

Yet the community and social outcomes of the project are also inspiring, and we can’t wait to share some of these stories soon. So much so, our Project and WAM’s Regional Officer Nigel Bird – in-between constantly working in the studio – flicked over a few updates on the recording process thus far, including a few highlights capturing the spirit of the project. We’ll reveal more shortly, but for now here’s a few words and some snaps from ol’ mate Nige’:


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The Sounds Of series of projects always focus on trying to leave behind producing and engineering skills with the participants in the regional areas where we conduct them. The Goldfields edition has been a grand success in this department, with our mate Libby Carmody from Tjuma Pulka FM in Kalgoorlie being at the studio, all day, everyday. Pictured here at the start of the project with one of the project’s sound engineer’s Matt Gio (from RADA Studios).


IMG_0448 LHey, the Bird is well known to be a crappy photographer (please help Daniel Grant!), but this shot of The Picture Gardens will do, right? They’re good guys. Did you know front man Warwick (above) worked on a mentoring program with Leon Ewing (Beaverloop, and one time WAM staff member) over a decade ago? Warwick has also organised three groups of young indigenous boys to come through the studio at Tjuma Pulka radio and our pop up studio as an introduction to recording music.


IMG_0478 MThe Leonora act –  such a privilege to work with this act. The song recorded was a collaboration between Leonora elder Kado Muir, South Hedland-based rapper KJ and the kids from Leonora that KJ has been mentoring. This pic is from when the ABC came to do a news story on these guys recording this song. It’s about young people being able to chase away the monsters of depression, anger and ultimately a statement about indigenous youth suicide and encouraging young people to be strong. Stop for a minute and please think about this; so many young indigenous people are exposed to a horrifically sad suicide epidemic in our own backyard. Sometimes music is more than selling records and playing big shows, it is a mode of expression, a way of creating positives. These kids were amazing; one of them blew away Matt (Gio) with his knowledge of microphone pick up/polar patterns – and this kid was 11 years old!


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Our recording palace, Wongutha Birni, is a local place used for community projects for Wongutha people (pictured above). It was originally the railway station master’s home, built in 1897, and it is amazing for recording… 15 feet ceilings and wooden floors throughout. It’s got heaps of character and a few ghost rumours…


IMG_0504 MEskimo Joe’s Joel Quartermain working on song structure with Lyndon Brownley from The Brownley Gospel Singers. Lyndon wrote this song around 9pm the night before. By 9pm the next day there was a fully formed track that just sounds amazing!


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Our mate Darren Forster from The China Blue Experiment, alocal knowledge provider (and some gear too!). Here he is playing the ES335 lent to us by Libby (it was her late father’s baby). Darren has recorded a great soul kind of track that highlights his silky gravel vocal tone, and it’s got a killer chorus too – get on board!


IMG_0525 LPictured above is Darren (The China Blue Experiment), Sean (Lillico, project sound engineer, from Fur Real Studio) and yours truly knocking out some claps in the hall way… natural reverb!


The Desert All Stars traveled further than we did to get to Kalgoorlie – except they came through the desert. IMG_0549 LBogged a couple of times after a big lot of rain came through in the previous days, they still got to us on time. All the way from Tjuntjunjarra community out near the S.A. border, these guys are a flat-out ROCK band. And boy, do they rock. We had a heap of fun with these guys and we’re pretty damn happy with the track they wrote about country. ABC’s Jasmine Bamford came on Easter Saturday to do an interview with frontman Jay Minning. Expect to hear more of these guys!


We’ll keep you posted soon on all acts selected for the Sounds Of The Goldfields project: The Picture Gardens (Laverton), Not Without My Band (w/ Ange Leech, Kalgoorlie/Laverton); The Brownley Gospel Singers (Kalgoorlie), Kado Muir (Leonora), Darren Forster (The China Blue Experiment, Kalgoorlie), Tiahn Dillon (Kalgoorlie), The Desert All Stars (Tjuntjuntjarra Community), Ruben Wills (Kambalda), Marcus Maguire (Kalgoorlie) and the winner of the 2015 Kalgoorlie Boulder Youth Open Mic competition, Jennifer Renee (Kalgoorlie).



WAM proudly acknowledges the generous support provided by our project partners:





Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The ArtsGovernment of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Lottery West, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.