BA-BOOM! Adventures in Sound!

Mobile Music Program for Youth in Remote Areas

May: the Force is with Us!


The Ltyentye Apurte Drummers at Wide Open Spaces 2012

The first public gig for The Ltyentye Apurte Drummers in 2012 was for the NTCOSS annual conference. This also happened to be their first paid/corporate gig and the audience, who were representative of all state-wide service providers, were blown away with a very slick performance. It was wonderful for all of us to be acknowledged for the hard work that goes into such celebrated success!

Second gig for The Drummers was at the Wide Open Spaces Festival performing the honorary ‘welcome to country’ . The festival site is located at Ross River in an intimate valley in East Arrente country which is family for some of the kids are custodian for. The Arrente men from Santa Teresa also gave a ceremonial dance. Revellers from far and wide assembled to cheer and dance to The Drummers’ smooth and confident performance. Many folks commented on their finesse and remarked on the sophistication of their rhythm pieces.

David Batty, Rebel film-maker, joined us for the preparations and unfolding of the days’ events. From filming us rehearsing at school in the morning to capturing the kids’ building excitement, creating a buzz around the festival’s launch, to focusing in on the joy on their faces while they performed, David and his camera were in the epicentre of a beautiful phenomenon!

Two weeks later, The Ltyentye Apurte Drummers were rehearsing their chops for a different kind of gig altogether; The Centralian School Eistedfodd. This event requires the kids to perform their work independently, which differs from the festival gigs where we enhance the band with djembe soloing and extra percussion. The band were totally up for the challenge.

Receiving their awards!

Announcement of their win.

Performing Markaru.

One of the key dun-dun players, Angelina, took up the helm of calling the changes in the arrangement on the whistle. Not only did she nail this role, but the judges admired her leadership skill. The adjudicator was overwhelmed with emotion when she took to the microphone to express her praise for such a ‘magical’ performance. The Drummers scored a 90% total and took out the trophy for the under 14 percussion section for 2012.

Riding on the high of the days’ success, we arranged for The Ltyentye Apurte Drummers to play their full set at The Steiner School Fair the next day. Once again, from their first beat to their last, folks were captivated, stopped in their tracks, heads turned to face the music, feeling the joy and power of the kids’ deadly drumming.

Last gig of the month turned out to be for a huge Labour campaign launch party in Santa Teresa. The state minister, Paul Henderson attended this event, as well as most of the community. The kids were more nervous about playing for their families than for any other gig! But they gave an electrifying performance nonetheless.


Mr. Henderson was suitably impressed and community members remarked on hearing new beats in the arrangements. For some of the elders, it was the first time they had seen and felt the power of The Drummers. Ceremonial dances were also performed by the women and the men, heralding the importance of such a gathering. It was great having an event like this purely for bringing the community together. After all of the formalities, the speeches and sharing of food, local Santa Teresa rock bands took the night out.

The school are keen for The Drummers to go on a regional tour, playing at schools and communities along the way and culminating with a performance at The Darwin Entertainment Centre for The Catholic Schools Festival.

This is being scheduled for late August, early September with their return to Central Australia co-inciding with the opening of the 2012 Alice Desert Festival, where The Ltyentye Apurte Drummers will feature once again.

The tour is an ambitious goal for all of us and we are currently seeking to develop philanthropic relationships to make this experience possible for the kids.

If you may be able to help, please don’t hesitate to write to us at

Dallas & Stormy holding their Eistedfodd trophy!



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Time sure flies


Kintore Kungkas music video still. Check out their song and video by clicking our YouTube link.

After our stint in Lake Nash, we loaded up our trusty Toyota (Penelope Cruza) with all of the drums and we journeyed long, long ways; to our studio in Copley (in the Northern Flinders Ranges), to our old home of Melbourne and finally arriving in Tasmania on Xmas eve 2011.

The inspiration for this adventure was to embark upon a spontaneous tour, running drumming workshops anywhere, anytime, along the way.

We also took gigs to perform Ba-Boom!’s Latin Lounge Experience; featuring Svet on accordion and Shon on bongos, among other things!

Brookfield Vineyard, Margate Tasmania

It was an awesome time to be on the island, an old stomping ground, as we frequented the festivals that unfurl over the new year summer period.

The Taste of Tasmania, Cygnet Folk Festival and Mona Foma Festivals all featured great, musical artistry from local and international levels. In amongst it all, we found open stages to showcase the entertaining versatility of Ba-Boom!

Featuring our friend and special guest Ngaire on persussion!

Our gigs went down really well and we also ran a series of drumming workshops which were enthusiastically received too.

We took great pleasure in sharing stories of the hard work, challenges, achievements and rewards of our engaging with youth in the remote central desert. The feedback we received has been wide-spread, emphatic support, offering us new perspectives, and ultimately urging us into the new year 2012 with big picture vision and ambition.

As a result, we are investigating the possibilities of attracting philanthropic support to further develop our rhythm & youth development programs in remote communities.

This means lots of research, consultations, seminars, liasing, networking and putting a professional Ba-Boom! package together.

Enter, David Batty, film-maker, writer and creative force behind Rebel Films, who made the fabulous Bush Mechanics series among other great Australian films. David has offered to make a short film for Ba-Boom! on the story of The Ltyentye Apurte Drummers. This is very exciting, but before we shoot, we must work some more!

Making music with the Kintore kungkas

Bottle shakers in Ernabella

BBQ party disco, Ernabella

Over two whole months, March & April, Ba-Boom! ran their youth development/rhythm programs in Kintore, Mimili and Ernabella. We then, segued into a 2 week intensive at school in Santa Teresa.

Our last engagement with Ltyentye Apurte was six months before, at the time of the Alice Desert Festival 2011. The Drummers launched the Desert Festival with an exceptional opening performance, as part of the Generate, Youth Arts Showcase. They sustained their prowess with performances in the Boom Youth Hub program too.

We learned that The Drummers have been called upon to perform for community events and that they have risen to these challenges with finesse.

The teachers are impressed with the kids’ independence in assembling themselves, assigning a leader to call the changes and then execute a performance with confidence and relative ease.

This represents a major success for us. The fact that the kids support one another as a band and know the rhythms well enough to perform them without us, and without feeling shy, is pure gold!

Rehearsing in the horse shed.

We were also very pleased to discover that the school kids have been learning from each other all of the various elements, rhythms and arrangements of their repertoire to date.

As we embarked on our classes with everyone in school from transition class, to all the individual grade classes, we really noticed big differences in the kids’ abilities to focus and concentrate. Their desire to learn and understand more about drumming and rhythm has deepened and when it came to sometimes gruelling after-school rehearsals, they showed great commitment to the process of performance preparation.

All of these aspects so affirm our passion for the benefits of ensemble drumming for youth and enhances our commitment to furthering our journey into rhythm, co-creatively with the valuable support of the Ltyentye Apurte Catholic Education Centre (LACEC).

We extend our sincerest gratitude to Greg Crowe, the school principal and to the wonderful, one of a kind, teacher of life, Michelle Dermody, who put in plenty of extra curricular time and energy into supporting the kids to feel success and gain acknowledgement and appreciation for their musical skills.

These kids are achieving excellence.

This is a good story.

Australia needs to know about it!

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