NEW AUDIO SYSTEMS FOR APY HOMELANDS
The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) people, traditional owners of the arid lands south of Uluru, in far northwest South Australia, were recently gifted new audio equipment from the Technical Audio Group (TAG), who put together two packages and took a long drive to deliver the new gear.
Music has always been an integral part of the social, cultural and ceremonial practices of the world’s ancient cultures and Australia’s First People are no exception. The rich musical heritage of Aboriginal Australians, remains a vital part of Indigenous cultural maintenance and is often times seen as the core of cultural life.
Playing music, singing and sharing, is a big part of everyday community life for the APY people, with more than a dozen remote communities (of up to 500 residents), spread over about 100,000 square kilometers of sparsely populated beautiful red-dirt bush. During the day the kids learn their musical instruments as well as DJ skills, as part of their education and recreation. Most evenings see people gathering under the stars in the churchyard, around a rough stage or campfire, to sing along as the kids perform. When TAG heard the communities audio equipment had begun to fail, the company was keen to help out.
TAG CEO Maxwell Twartz, packed two systems for the APY people into his ageing Nissan Patrol, and set off up the Oodnadatta Track. The systems included pairs of QSC K10’s, Allen & Heath ZED mixers and Audio-Technica wired and wireless microphones. After 3000 kms, much of it on heavily corrugated dirt roads, the systems were given a rigorous vibration, shake and impact test.
“It was great to contribute to this remote Indigenous Community,” Twartz said. “There is some wonderful talent in the APY lands and whether it is music, dancing, speaking or singing an audio system is a central part.”
One system was entrusted to Uniting Church Pastor Stanley Burton and local cultural advisor/traditional dancer Tapaya Edwards at Amata and the second 200 kilometers away at Mimili was set up for Pastor Mike Williams and community worker Tania Pompey.
“As audio guys we can make a contribution, it’s an entrée to a better understanding and a chance to share some good times and see some amazing country,” commented Twartz.
Indeed it is.