William Barton – didge savant

William Barton – didge savant

Our old mate is performing in Coffs – BG Sound Project – Desert Stars Dancing
October 12 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm details @ Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium. 

His new CD Birdsong at Dusk (ABC Records) is well worth close listening.

I met Will at Bundanon – thsi is from a poem Kitchen Music

Margrit pours a wine as I tell the story of a red goshawk or spotted harrier
gliding over the island, the capsizing sun smearing ochre on its breast
(rare goshawk I’d guess from the barred wings), and red-browed finches
and flocks of silvereyes riffling though scrub edging the open wood

of tall spotted gum with cycad understorey, when a sound starts rolling
down distance towards us. I stand and see you on your verandah blowing
hard, the vibrations carry across the valley like an alpine horn, the roos
sit bolt upright ears quivering; moonlight braids the grasses. I cooee

and wander up through air showered with music that runs down blades
and pollen tubes, stems and trunks, lands in tracks dried in mud, pours
through cracks levered by hungry roots, slips between sand grains and past
pebbles banded in conglomerate, sifts through the strata and fissures

fungi insinuate, into lyrebird perforations, shallow echidna excavations,
filling the sockets of fallen trees, injecting cicada punctures, dropping down
ant-nest labyrinths, falling through spider trapdoors into tunnels larvae
chew and multiple corridors burrowed by the wombat and the winding

passages of the bandicoot, into the lair of the fox and up into bat roosts
and boobook boles, improvising the everyday fabric, the telluric lure
from track to river bed through fistulas of erosion, post-holes, ancient vents,
caves and other geological specificities opening the earth – contingent engineering.

I step cautiously. The Pointers parade the heraldic Southern Cross
but I’m beneath the bible-black void between Acrux and Gacrux,
tongue feeding off the Old Norse blakkr (dark), Old German blach
and Anglo-Saxon blaec, architecture of the mouth, muscle & breath.


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