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!
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!
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!
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!
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!