Black Arm Band is a collective made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, widely acclaimed at home and abroad for extraordinary music theatre performances, celebrations of Indigenous music, culture and language, with uniquely powerful visual imagery and text. The musical tradition and presentation is forged from over 40,000 years of history, infused with contemporary style. Presenting work that speaks of ...
Black Arm Band is a collective made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, widely acclaimed at home and abroad for extraordinary music theatre performances, celebrations of Indigenous music, culture and language, with uniquely powerful visual imagery and text. The musical tradition and presentation is forged from over 40,000 years of history, infused with contemporary style. Presenting work that speaks of endurance, challenge, unity and the triumph of the spirit, Black Arm Band is a flexible ensemble of highly skilled musicians and composers, directors and film makers, representing the pinnacle of Australia’s music theater.
At the heart of Black Arm Band’s ethos, is their relationship with Indigenous communities. Their performances and educational outreach to these communities in Yarrabah, Maningrida, Gunbalanya, Fitzroy Crossing, Manyallaluk, Cherbourg, Papunya and Kalkarindji has positively impacted over 2500 participants! Black Arm Band’s ongoing interaction in these places, with the Elders and populace, connects them to the land in a way that celebrates the past and revolutionizes the future of Indigenous Australia through music. They gently awaken long-sleeping Australian languages and tales, musically evoking the faces of the Stolen Generations, and of the proud Indigenous persons living in communities today.
The Black Arm Band Company continually explores new modes of expression and engagement seeking opportunities to inspire, educate and entertain diverse communities. The long-term vision for The Black Arm Band Company is an ongoing presence — a national and international resource hub for the development and performance of Indigenous music in all its forms. In 2017 the touring company will perform, “DIRTSONG”. First presented as part of the 2009 Melbourne Festival, “dirtsong” is a powerful musical passage through Australia’s cultural heartland. Set against a stunning backdrop, the performance features unforgettable songs, performed in 11 different Aboriginal languages, by some of the most extraordinary performers in the land.
> dirtsong: A Journey Through Australia’s Heartland: Inspired by the words of Alexis Wright (Miles Franklin Award winner), dirtsong inspires the heart and lifts the spirit. Set against a stunning backdrop of moving imagery and text, the performance features Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songs performed in a dozen different languages, from a collaboration of their most extraordinary vocalists and musicians. This theatrical piece features film, 8 traveling performers, plus 3-5 local musicians (on saxophone, piano, electric violin, or trumpet) who can be rehearsed the day before the show. A version of the show without film is also available for spaces lacking film gear. Perfect for university residencies and performing arts centers!
> Black Arm Band Concert: A musical concert featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songs performed in a dozen different languages by a band of 8 total performers (3 singers, didgeridoo player, and 4 musicians). No film or theatrical components. Perfect for festivals and summer engagements!
> Workshops, lectures, demos and round-tables available, click OUTREACH from left menu or here for more information.