Australia’s Muslim Cameleers

Current Projects, Events

I made some music and the sound design for this exhibition about Australia’s first Muslim community, the Cameleers, and their role in the exploration and settlement of Australia’s interior.

The exhibition is being held at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum on Flinders Street Melbourne, until September 19 2010.

Although I’ve done sound installation as part of other projects and made things that skirt around the edges between music and ambient sound this is the first time I’ve considered myself to be working primarily as a sound designer. It’s a whole new way of thinking about sounds, well for me at least.

The main thing that concerned me working on this project was authenticity, especially with it being in the context of a museum exhibit. Although coming up with a perfectly authentic sound would be nigh on impossible, given the time constraints and that I don’t live anywhere near the western desert, and that the Cameleers of Australia’s pioneer days are now gone, I ended up creating what I would almost term a ‘hyper-real’ sound environment. I restricted myself to the sounds I knew would be in the environment specified in the brief (campsite in the desert), and excluded anything I couldn’t be certain of, and using the palette left to me I created a kind of caricature of that place. Caricature might not be exactly the right word, it seems disrespectful in the context, but I can’t think of anything more apt at the moment.

Make the time to go and have a look at the exhibition, the stories and the artifacts are fascinating.

Admission to the museum is $8 for adults and free for children and concession holders.

Very special thanks to Ben Landau (Exhibition Designer) for inviting me to do something a little outside my norm.


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