‘On the Wings of a Godwit’ ©The Bowerbird Collective & Burung Indonesia
On the Wings of a Godwit – A musical meditation to the end of the earth and back
The Bowerbird Collective & Burung Indonesia & Suara Indonesia Dance
More than 400 viewers from worldwide watched the event including university students, teachers, researchers, scientists, birdwatchers, site managers for flyway site and wetlands, and decision or policy makers.
- The creation of new artistic, collaborative work focusing on the Bar-tailed Godwit.
- Social media engagement with an international audience, with a particular target of Indonesian viewers.
- Many thousands of engagements were recorded, with at least 300-400 people viewing the event during it’s premiere in Indonesia.
- The partnership between Burung Indonesia, the Bowerbird Collective and Suara Indonesia Dance was highly successful and will lead to future work.
After the success of ‘Invisible Connections’ produced in collaboration the EAAFP and the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand for World Migratory Bird Day, May 9, the Bowerbird Collective was again successful in applying for a small grant from the EAAFP for WMDB, October 10. The idea for ‘On the Wings of a Godwit’ came from artist Kate Gorringe-Smith, highly regarded for her work in developing ‘The Overwintering Project’. Simone Slattery and Anthony Albrecht of the Bowerbird Collective were very excited to collaborate with Kate, and agreed to pursue the project in view of producing it for World Migratory Bird Day, as well as entry into the Melbourne Fringe Festival in November 2020.
Kate Gorringe-Smith composed the poetic meditation for this work, and Simone Slattery, during a mandatory isolation period on Kangaroo Island, composed and conceived of a soundscape that would bring the text to life. Anthony, never lacking in ambition, proposed a collaboration with Burung Indonesia to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day with a new audience. Burung, particularly Ferry Hasudungan and Meisa Muhammand, were wonderful in agreeing to and supporting the project. Suara Indonesia Dance, a company based in Sydney, Australia, agreed to translate and perform the Indonesian version of the work.
This collaboration resulted in a beautiful, immersive, innovative work, ‘On the Wings of a Godwit, which takes the form of a 20-minute listening experience that asks the listener to embody a Bar-tailed Godwit on their journey along the flyway. These birds were recorded in significant numbers on the eastern coastline of Aceh Provence in recent counts by the Warisan Hidup Sumatera Foundation, funded by the Hong Kong Birdwatching Society. Both Alfira O’Sullivan, Artistic Director of Suara Indonesia Dance, and her husband Murtala, have Acehnese roots, and were very excited to weave new cultural threads with this project. There are now plans for beginning collaborative dance choreography with the Bowerbird Collective.
Hosted by Burung Indonesia on social media, the event premiered in the evening of October 10, World Migratory Bird Day, to a substantial online audience. This was an exciting addition to the program of the day, and it was thrilling to hear the contrast between the English and Indonesian versions of the work. This collaboration constitutes another great step in the progress of the Bowerbird Collective’s major work celebrating the migratory shorebirds of the EAAF, which will be a 60-minute touring multimedia performance. Covid-19 permitting, the work will tour throughout Flyway partner nations in late 2021 and 2022. Please see www.bowerbird.productions for more information on Simone and Anthony’s work. Heartfelt thanks to Vivian Fu, Ferry, Meisa, Alfira and everyone involved with this project for the support.
On the Wings of a Godwit Trailor – Indonesian Version
On the Wings of a Godwit Trailor – English Version