BA-BOOM! Adventures in Sound!

Mobile Music Program for Youth in Remote Areas

The Midnight Carnivale!



While Shon was scooting back and forth, between Ikuntji and Finke-Apatula, prepping the kids for Wipeout! Svet was in her element conjuring mad melodies for the annual Cats Meow Cabaret show, The Midnight Carnivale.

A highly-anticipated event in the Alice Desert Festival Program, The Midnight Carnivale, fondly referred to as the cabaret, was a whirl of a project that evolved into an event far bigger than anyone predicted.

The story of lost love, as told by a cigarette girl in a dusty old theatre-world, surrounded by a bunch of disenchanted characters, recalled the ancient greek story of persephone’s journey into the underground crossed with the surreality of alice in wonderland.

6 ft under bar

This thrilling theatrical tale was brought to life through a variety of mediums; dramatic choreographed dance (chorus-lines, ballet, tango, hip hop, bollywood to name a few) sideshow & aerial arts, chamber opera, stage magic, video projection, costumery, roller-boogie, mock-cowboy fighting and all with a live band to boot.


Svet relished her role as musical director, composing for and assembling an awesome 7-piece band, showcasing the talents and individuality of the Alice Springs music scene as well as roping in multi-instru-mental extraordinaire, from Melbourne, Mal Webb.


The show premiered, in all of its exciting production glory, at the Araluen Arts Centre, over two sell-out nights. It featured a committed cast & crew of 120 people, an incredibly dedicated and talented team of director/performers (Franca, Melissa, Miljika, Kerz, Lily) and two mentors (Svet and Lily).



For Svet, it was absolutely exciting to be a part of a professionally produced, large scale, boundlessly imaginative community event. The performances were superb, the audiences were in raptures and ideas are already in the pipeline for next year’s Cats Meow show.


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Wipeout! Alice Desert festival 2009

 ... and the beat goes on..
…and the beat goes on…


 After the CAYLUS holiday program finished we were both exhausted. But there was no time to rest because the next mission had been organized months before and was to begin straight away. Shon went back to Ikuntji school and to the Finke River/Aputula community school on the edge of the Simpson Desert (8 hours from Ikuntji) to create her most exciting rhythmic arrangements yet. Svet temporarily anchored down in Alice Springs to be the Musical Director/Mentor for the annual Cats Meow Midnight Carnivale cabaret show. Both were to be key events in the Alice Desert Festival 2009.


..and a one and a two

                                                                     …and one and two 

Shon worked tirelessly for the next 6 weeks, teaching and preparing the youth from Finke and Ikuntji schools to perform their unique rhythm stories on the main stage for the opening of the Festival. It was a huge undertaking and very hard work! A lot of travel was involved. Shon blazed forth even despite coming down with swine flu during the process and having to be air lifted by the flying doctors out of Ikuntji at one point!


finke school

    tecahing at finke school



everyone worked hard-we aimed high!

everyone worked very hard 



It was an unforgettable experience and an incredible success.

Remote community youth had never before been invited by the Festival to perform, let alone open the festival. Shon was the artistic director, co-ordinating and writing a finale piece for all of the acts involved in the event which included Ti-Tree school choir (Music Outback with Mal Webb and Steve Berry), Maori Youth dancers, Drum Atweme, Yirrara College Band, Ikintji School and Finke/Aputula School.


rehearsal-shy but willing!

                                                                      shy but willing 

The finale parts were taught separately and only rehearsed all together for the first time the night before at RedHotArts space. Logistically, it was a huge job for everyone involved in this process, i.e; transportation and accomodation of the kids in town. Without the help, tireless work and enthusiasm of the teachers and the Festival programer, this unique event would not have happened.

Somehow it all came together beautifully. The crowd was in awe of the skills and abilities of these talented young people and showed it with their applause and appreciation!


Still 1


There’s no greater thrill than your first ever big stage perfomance!

These kids performed with all the passion and intensity of seasoned artists!




Still 2



Still 3

Indigenous youth have hidden talents that only need recognition, encouragement and patience to bring forth. Fortunately, there are enough of us (teachers and artists) who recognize this and do not compare indigenous kids with english speaking non-indigenous kids. Indigenous kids are incredibly smart when given the space to show what they can achieve! Shon is deeply proud of the youth she has had the priviledge of working with so far.


post concert joy with ikuntji kids

                                                                post concert joy with the ikuntji kids

posted under Ba-Boom! in Schools, Performances | Comments Off on Wipeout! Alice Desert festival 2009

Ntaria (hermannsburg) & Ikuntji (haasts bluff), N.T.



Ba-Boom!’s next assignment was running a winter school holiday program, over four weeks in two different communities for CAYLUS (Central Australian Youth Link up Service); Ntaria and Ikuntji, both west and north west of Alice Springs
on the way to palm valley

 on the way to ntaria


Ntaria is a large community and also known as Hermannsburg. We had lots of things going on in the Youth Shed but our most exciting experience was really connecting with the young male musicians. They came everyday, keen not only to play their own music but enthusiastic to learn new feels as well. We ended our stay there with a great recording and a concert and BBQ for the community.


ntaria recording session

 ntaria recording sessions


mask & instrument making

mask and percussion making





Ikuntji is a community Shon has had the pleasure to teach in before. In 2008 between April and July CAARMA produced a teaching tour through 6 different communities. 3 artists collaborated to create an exciting 2 week program for each school. Ikuntji was one of those schools!
little drummer boys

little drummer boys


eating honey ant, mmmm, exquisite

 eating honey ant..mmmm, exquisite


digging tjupi (honey ants)

 digging for tjupi (honey ants)



rhythm practice

 rhythm practice



handful of sweet treats

 handful of sweet treats


So for Ba-Boom! to return there was a wonderful thing because the kids remembered and were excited to get some fun happening! We made percussion instruments, played ukelele, learnt some great drum patterns, played keys, bass, guitar, went on bush trips for honey ants, made our first animation, ran cooking classes and fed all the kids, and had movie nights and a disco!

Ikuntj kids went on to take the ensemble rhythm we had put together on the holidays to the Alice Desert Festival 2 months later, for Wipeout, the opening event on the main stage….more about that later. . .


posted under Holiday Programs | Comments Off on Ntaria (hermannsburg) & Ikuntji (haasts bluff), N.T.

Catching up on 2009



since combining forces, Ba-Boom! have been going off to the driving beats of many a kid in far-out places!after months of planning, visualizing and assembling the equipment needed to spark musical imaginations of the young ones, we embarked on our adventurous journey overland to the centre



flinders ranges, journey north

 journey north, flinders ranges 

some 3000km later, with a few good travel stories under the belt, we arrive at our first gig at Mutitjulu, on the south-eastern side of Uluru. At the school there, we ran a two week daily music program focused on rhythm

uluru and katja tjuta after rare winter rain

 uluru and kata tjuta after winter rain


incorporating west-African ensemble drums & percussion, bass & electric guitars, keyboard and laptop studio, Ba-Boom! achieved some great results with the college students from Mutitjulu, Imanpa and Docker River

palya mutitjulu

palya mutitjulu


daily encouragement, practice and focus resulted in a fine recording of five original tunes and a closing performance for the wider community.

 the class continued on to making a finished product of the CD

able to look back now on our first gig, it was pretty challenging, but through meeting these head on, with all of our musicality, we discovered a little of what gems we are capable of creating with these young folk – exciting!

posted under Ba-Boom! in Schools | Comments Off on Catching up on 2009