To view more of Trish Davies' photos of Kurt Brereton's exhibition opening at Hat Hill Gallery on November 3rd click here

art opening this coming saturday 3rd november

Rise: Kurt Brereton

Hat Hill Gallery
3 Hat Hill Road

Opening talk by Pam Brown
6pm Saturday 3rd November

Exhibition continues until 25th November
More info click here

From the catalogue notes : “The title of the show RISE alludes to a host of connotations – of climatic increasing in sealevels, air temperatures and greenhouse gases. There is also a play on the risible; humorous play acting - taking the piss out of the deathly serious - as an antidote to the morbidity that surrounds us at every media news corner.”

Snorkel Issue 6 is now available for perusal. Edited by Cath Vidler with assistance from associate editor Nick Reimer. Poems by Michael Hall : Pam Brown : David Prater : Kerrin P. Sharpe : Changming Yuan : Harry Ricketts : Nirmala l. Vasikaran : Sarah Jane Barnett : Todd Swift : Ruth Arnison : Martha Hardy-Ward : Mary Cresswell : Greg McLaren : Chris Price : Carol Jenkins : Sue Fitchett


meanwhile, more from the manicured, topiaried town of leura - just a day or two ago


You know summer is on the way in Sydney when there are suddenly so many events to choose from that you just feel like lying down on your outdoor recliner in the shade of a tree with a book and going to nothing . . . but (!) it's still only spring so you'll hop across to all of them . . .

In Place : Virginia Coventry
13th October - 3rd November
Tin Sheds Gallery
Architecture Faculty
University of Sydney
City Road

The two Kens
Ken Searle Ken Whisson
17th October - 10th November
Watters Gallery
109 Riley Street
East Sydney

                           Painting by Ken Searle

                           Painting by Ken Whisson

Belle of the Cross by Angelika Fremd
13th-28th October
Tap Gallery
278 Palmer Street

Sam Wagan Watson reading poetry
Friday 26th October 6.30pm
Performance Space,
Building 3,
University of Technology Sydney
(Corner of Harris St. and Broadway.
Entry on Harris St)

Sundays @ 2pm Poetry readings
Whiteley Studio
Raper Street
Surry Hills

Sunday 28 October
* Jane Gibian
* Petra White

Sunday 25 November
* Greg McLaren
* Elizabeth Campbell

I’ll have to go to this one because Kurt has asked me to give a speechette at the opening…
Rise: Kurt Brereton
1st - 25th November
Hat Hill Gallery
3 Hat Hill Road
more info click here

FourW New Writing magazine launch
2.30pm Saturday 17th November
49 Glebe Point Road


Dry tropics

every minute counts

four lines a day
snap frozen


Lorine Niedecker,
what would she have to say
(‘pick up that bucket’)


my brief career
as a shopkeeper

my new life
tending the demented


exit gaps stuffed
with strips of newspaper
against the western chill

‘chill factor’
has become
‘feels like’


in a pastoral
blackened eucalypts
might dance

for me, it’s useless
a treeless plain,
then describing it

continually changing landscapes
are way too much

sickly yellowing weeds,
bogged gullies,
cracking surfaces

ruining pristine reefs
and so on


the wind gusts furiously,
the verandah lattice
blown from its frame

like living
in a light house

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

raise the blinds
turn up
that medina music,
start keening now


Twenty+ Ways to Teach Poetry
Without Comprehension Questions


Tristan Tzara
To Make A Dadaist Poem

preparations for the poetry class


dinner out
at the Renee Geyer cabaret,
neon turning blonde hair pink

warm cocktails
in a harbour bar
the old beauty
of an autumn evening


in a gadda da vida
and other stormy music


a million droplets,


world gone somewhere,
dry tropics


in Bangalow
revisiting the site
of my truck crash

a new shop
has been built
in the ditch



listening to segu blue

Bassekou Kouyate is a virtuoso of the ngoni (West African lute), approximating the larger kora (West African harp) in sound but with a tougher, more percussive edge. Outside his home country of Mali, where he is widely celebrated, Kouyate is known for his work with artists like the late guitarist Ali Farka Toure—he was featured on Toure's posthumous album Savane (World Circuit, 2006) — kora player Toumani Diabete and American roots musician Taj Mahal.

Segu Blue is, Kouyate's debut recording as leader. It's an album of understated but awesome beauty, full of lush melodies and supple rhythms, deep, peaceful and healing; happier sounding than Ali Farka Toure's music, but equally weighty and mesmeric.

Kouyate's band, Ngoni Ba (”the big ngoni”) is a quartet of ngoni players — treble, mid range and bass — augmented by Kouyate's wife, Ami Sacko, on lead vocals, and two percussionists. Guest singers and musicians are also featured. The earthy tenor Zoumani Tereta takes lead vocals on two tunes; shades-of-Ali Farka Toure electric guitarist Lobi TraorĂ© is featured on another. All the tunes are drawn from, or closely based on, traditional Bambara music from the Segu region of Mali: three are traditional, all but one of the others are composed by Kouyate.

The album is almost as much Sacko's as it is Kouyate's (in the Malian capital, Bamako, husband and wife are the musicians-of-choice at wedding celebrations, feast days and other traditional gatherings). She's known locally as “the Tina Turner of Mali,” but this must be for her looks more than her voice, which—apart from her cathartic delivery on “Lament For Ali Farka”—is lightfooted and soft-textured.

                  Bamako Market, foto by Peter Ptschelinzew

Behind Sacko, the four ngoni players weave in and out of each other's lines with such intricate intimacy that, pitch aside, it's often hard to tell where one instrument stops and another one starts. The effect is rather like hearing a broader-ranged kora played by eight hands. The treble and mid range players favour crisp, brisk, tumbling riffs, the bass anchors them with more measured ostinatos. “Segu Blue” itself is one of just two instrumental tracks, and the piece closest to Ali Farka Toure's savannah blues in feel and notation.

Segu Blue was produced by the British writer and broadcaster Lucy Duran in Mali, and mixed by Jerry Boys (of Buena Vista Social Club repute) in London.

(With thanks to Chris May of ‘African Jazz’)


sound poetry in melbourne

Starting this coming Thursday,
La Mama Poetica
presents Voiceprints as part of the
Melbourne International Arts Festival

La Mama Poetica: Voiceprints, an eclectic polypoetry (literally poetry of many possibilities) mini-season. The programme includes live works by visiting Japanese sound poet and composer Tomomi Adachi, Sufi-inspired World Jazz by Ali Alizadeh and musicians Elissa Goodrich and Ria Soemardjo, Sydney-based poet Amanda Stewart, TTO and visual artist Sandy Caldow, Ania Walwicz, Emilie Zoey Baker, Peter Murphy and jeltje with the improvising chorus Unamunos Quorum.

Amanda Stewart, 2005

Voiceprints has been inspired by international polypoetry festivals in Ghent (krikri), Berlin and Barcelona, and strives to widen conceptualized expectations of what poetry is. The performance-orientated pieces bear witness to the struggle of finding a contemporary and authentic voice in times of language crisis - something beyond the page, sometimes even beyond the confines of language itself.

La Mama Theatre
205 Faraday Street

Thursday October 11 and Friday October 12 @ 8pm
Matinees: Saturday October 13 and Sunday October 14 @ 2.30pm
Sunday Oct 14 fully booked

Ticket prices: $25 full/$15 conc.

Running time: 2 hours 15 mins. approx.

To gain an idea of Amanda Stewart's kind of unique vocal performance work,
here’s an excerpt from unexpected synergies by Bernadette Ashley -
a review of recent ‘see hear now’ performances in Townsville
(from the current issue of realtime)

performance 4: untitled

The most effective incorporation of visual art was achieved in Performance 4.

Movement artists Nicole Keen and Kate Hooper were wrapped together in a single stretchy white sack centrestage. As they contorted in response to Amanda Stewart’s vocal performance, visual artist Michelle Deveze drew on the cloth. Slower passages allowed her to make deliberately directed work, while at times the movement artists’ staccato responses caused Deveze’s charcoal marks to become random and opportunistic, confined to wherever she could establish contact with her heaving canvas in the moment. A further layer of intrigue was added by local artist Donna Foley’s simultaneous responses using a data tablet, the images projected onto the dancers and walls.

Stewart’s voicework and Foley’s projections carried a heightened synergy underpinned by Foley’s specialisation in the intersection of the visual and aural. Just as Stewart pares back language from the coherent into its component parts, Foley’s calligraphy, using stylus on data tablet, is like pre-writing scribble, almost fooling the audience into believing they could decipher, in Foley’s chaotic, lacy marks, what Stewart was vocalising.

The intensity showed in Stewart’s mobile features and taut neck muscles as she worked rapidly back and forth between two microphones. An unbelievable array of effects was conjured. At times it was like someone quickly turning an old radio dial across stations, or overhearing the sighs, whispers and tragedies of the inhabitants of a whole apartment block all at once.

In between evoking echoes of kissing, popping, chattering teeth, ripping velcro, rain, trains, Morse code from space or a penguin colony in distress with her hoarse, breathy scat, Stewart threw in the odd, tantilising word, which she later described as “a rant for the underlings; women and low caste people.”

Foley’s projected marks changed colour, overlapped, intensified until the screen was practically filled, emptied and the process begun again. The lighting replicated changing weather. Photographer Glenn O’Mallley ducked and wove through the action, adding his shadow to the backdrop as he recorded Deveze trying to tame a ground which behaved like a large, unruly and reluctant animal.

Eventually Stewart’s vocals wound down from disturbing to soothing, ending quietly with “fait accompli...the economics of us...” She walked away from the microphones cueing Foley and Deveze’s last slow lines as they all eyed each other.

These disparate elements married to produce a multidimensional, sensual and random collage. The eye was kept moving, the ear straining and the mind racing to connect the nuances of voice, hand and body: an engrossing journey.


rose street

Last week I visited Melbourne again, staying with family in Rose Street, Fitzroy. Wandering down to the busy strip-shopping precincts of Brunswick Street in one direction and Smith Street in the opposite, each day I passed many, many examples of stencil art and other graffiti - ephemeral art forms that I love. From an L-plate sprayer to an old friend, Guru Adrian, these photos are only a small sample of the traces on the walls of a short couple of blocks of one street in Australia's stencil graffiti capital. Let's stroll...

click on each image to enlarge