Winter Nights

As we sat and waited for the performance to begin, I had little idea of what to expect. My friend invited me, on the recommendation the work had been curated by a colleague at the ABC, Daniel Browning. Daniel presents “Awaye”, a weekly program about Indigenous arts and culture. And one of the most awesome segments on that program is “Word Up”, a weekly insight into the estimated 500 Indigenous languages spoken in Australia prior to European settlement/occupation.

There are many things at the heart of “Blak Box” (by Urban Theatre), including some of the words commonly spoken by the Gadigal people around the time of first contact. Throughout the performance, you also learn some of the Indigenous words which quickly came into existence, as a result of occupation.

Over the course of an hour, you learn these words, and hear the many words and sounds associated with both the early days, and more recently. It’s a wonderful soundscape that lasts about an hour, so you can either close your eyes and absorb the sounds (as many people did), or (like me) take part in the experience, absorbing the words, the sounds, and the associated lights. Tickets are free.

Deep listening at Sydney Harbour: Past, present and future coexist. If the speed of sound warps our sense of time then we can still hear the crackle of fires lit thousands of years ago on the foreshore of the world’s most magnificent harbour. The presence of the First People is inscribed in the acoustic memory of the place they now call Barangaroo. Contemporary voices share stories of country. Are you listening?’
– Daniel Browning, Urban Theatre Projects, BLAK BOX Curator.


Winter has well and truly arrived in Sydney. And though I often dismiss Sydney-siders complaints about the cold (I’ve experienced far chillier conditions), I was feeling it earlier tonight, as I wrapped myself tightly at home, consuming more of the cheese I took home from yesterday’s market.

With both things in mind, I thought I’d share a few photographs I’ve snapped over the few days around the theme of “Winter Nights” from the area in which I live.


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