Leah Barclay | DHAKAN, NEW ZEALAND (2011)
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Dhakan draws on two collaborative works composed by Leah Barclay throughout 2010 and 2011 in Australia and New Zealand. The first is a collaboration with Lyndon Davis, an Australian indigenous artist who is a direct descendant of the Gubbi Gubbi traditional custodians of the Sunshine Coast region in Queensland. The work was commissioned through the NeoGeoGraphy Program to capture how the Sunshine Coast defined itself through place, interaction and time. The multi-platform nature of the project involved community workshops, interviews and collaborative performances that recontextualized the history of the region.

The second work weaved into this performance is Remnant Breath, a collaboration with Maori artist Jo Tito for EcoSapiens at SCANZ 2011. The work was delivered as a 20min immersive sound walk in the Tehenui Rainforest Walkway in New Plymouth, New Zealand. The intention of the work was to reveal remnant sonic layers of the land and explore stories of water, place and the Maori concept of interconnection and the environment. Remnants (of land, animal life or cultures) offer us a warning – because they signal both loss and disconnection and the need for urgent action.

Dhakan brings these remnant soundscapes and voices together as an exclusive live performance the 2011 Australasian Computer Music Conference in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Review by Warren Burt: 

“Leah Barclay, another bright young rising talent, followed with Dhakan, performed by her and Jo Tito. This was the only Australian work on the program that dealt with indigenous sources, from both Australian and New Zealand, and it was an affecting work – in its structure, the background soundscape the performers used reminded me of a piece for radio. The medium of radio piece with live performance component was one that was mostly absent from the conference, so I was glad to see/hear pieces by Barclay and later, Chris Cree Brown which represented this medium.”

The original review is available here