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Demos from the Wheatbelt, was the 10th iteration of WAM’s much-loved and respected ‘Sounds of’ and ‘Demos from’ regional recording projects which have played a pivotal role in developing regional artists and connecting them with new peers, inspiration, audiences, and mentors. The project was undertaken with support from our partners Collgar Wind Farm, Cummins Theatre, Shire of Merriden and WEROC.
Artists from throughout the Wheatbelt were selected to record as part of the project and featured on the Demos from the Wheatbelt compilation, including:
Georgia McAlpine Buntine
Gracie Stancic Gwambygine
Hayden McGlinn Lake Grace
Kelly Gardner Gingin
Polly Medlen Wagin
Refractory Road Northam
Sue Munns Beacon
Tim Beckingham Wialki
Tom Caughey Nukarni
The Primary Collective Merredin
Recording took place between the 18th and 30th of March 2019 in one of Merredin’s oldest buildings, the Cummins Theatre. Originally built in Coolgardie in 1897, the beautiful heritage-listed building owes its existence in Merredin to James Cummins, the then Mayor of Kalgoorlie, who purchased the Theatre and had it sent to Merredin in pieces by train. The Theatre was rebuilt where it stands today on Bates Street, open to the public since 1928. Over the years the Cummins Theatre has played host to a number of Australia’s favourite artists, including AC/DC, Slim Dusty, Johnny O’Keefe, Lano & Woodley, The Wiggles, David Helfgott, Sherbert, Marcia Hines, John Paul Young, and many, many others. The iconic Theatre is packed with history and will provide a unique recording environment in the centre of the Wheatbelt.
Renowned sound producers and co-owners of Rada Studios, Matt Gio (Abbe May, Katy Steele) and Dan Carroll (Grace Barbe, Odette Mercy, Mathas) recorded the project alongside Andy Lawson (Debaser Studios, WAMAwards Studio of the Year), who dropped in to provide production assistance for part of the project.
Demos from the Wheatbelt was officially launched at Cummins Theatre in Merredin on Friday 30th August 2019, where acts performed with their full bands to a crowded theatre. Demos from the Wheatbelt songwriters also featured, in solo mode, as part of the Wheatbelt Songwriters Showcase, that took place at the annual GWN7 Dowerin Field Days 2019 on the 28th and 29th of August.
So far WAM’s regional recording projects have uncovered 100 tracks that have been broadcasted on radio stations across the country and racked up over 80,000 plays across digital streaming platforms. They’ve helped 147 regional musicians realise their potential and sparked many successful music opportunities for Wheatbelt artists such as Hayden Sprigg and Pete Byfield.
PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY
WAM delivers Demos from the Wheatbelt with the ongoing support of the State Government Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Australia Council for the Arts.