In a celebration of National Reconciliation Week, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra partnered with the Hackett Foundation, SA Power Networks and the Department for Education, Music Education Strategy to provide secondary schools from Loxton High School and Berri Regional Secondary School the opportunity to work alongside composers Julian Ferraretto and Belinda Gehlert with Robert Taylor, a proud Ngarrindjeri, Nganguraku, Kaurna and Narungga man. The students worked with Robert to create brand new music inspired by his cultural heritage for the ASO as part of its Silos & Symphonies composition project.
Robert, Julian and Belinda visited the Riverland schools in March with Robert sharing cultural stories from the Ngarrindjeri people with the students. Building on this connection to place, students explored their connection with the region and developed musical ideas to form the basis of these new pieces.
Students joined Robert, Julian, Belinda and the orchestra to workshop the music. Some students attended in person while others connected via a live stream. The films were released as part of the ASO’s Virtual Concert Hall series during National Reconciliation Week.
Robert Taylor was honoured to share with the students the dreaming story of his great warrior ancestor Ngurunderi, the creator of the River Murray, and described it as a very spiritual experience. “Music has always been such an important part of our culture and to take traditional music and collaborate with the students and ASO to compose a contemporary piece of music from a traditional foundation is a show of modern-day trade and sharing of cultures”, he said.
The virtual concert can be viewed online at https://www.aso.com.au/community-engagement/silos-symphonies/.