- Operations Director: Madelynne Cornish
- Artistic Director: Philip Samartzis
- Design + Development: Public Office
- PO Box 456, Mount Beauty, 3699,
- EMAIL / FB / TW / IN
The Bogong Centre for Sound Culture is a remote-regional cultural initiative situated in the foothills of Victoria’s Alpine National Park. Established by Philip Samartzis and Madelynne Cornish the Centre supports projects focusing on the processes and impacts of sustainable energy production; effects of climate change in wilderness areas; ethnographic studies of remote communities; the chronicling of vanishing industrial procedures; and systems of representation used to render natural and built environments.
Additionally, the BCSC facilitates a broad cultural program comprising, festivals, exhibitions, publications, master classes and artists’ talks focusing on site-specific art practices. These programs establish a connection with place, its inhabitants, geographic space and memory. They engage a wide range of audiences, bringing together local, interstate and international artists across multiple disciplines and fields to realise ambitious works.
The BCSC is situated at the newly restored old school at Bogong Alpine Village located 350 kilometres from Melbourne in North East Victoria.
About Bogong Village
Bogong Alpine Village is 325 kilometres North-East of Melbourne situated at an altitude of 800 meters in the Alpine National Park between Mount Beauty and Falls Creek. The village was established in the late 1930s to service the first hydroelectric scheme in mainland Australia. More recently it has become a popular site for alpine sports, recreation and ecotourism. Click here for directions.
A Short History
Work on the Kiewa Scheme commenced in 1938 with the construction of a road from Tawonga to the High Plains. Previously the only access was by foot or horseback along tracks that had been forged by cattlemen of a bygone era. Bogong Village was established once the road from Junction Camp was trafficable (March 1939); this paved the way for the construction of permanent buildings. Prior to that life was tough; large canvas tents and flies were used for sleeping quarters and smaller tents were set up to house the kitchens. By 1940 Bogong Township had grown considerably with a general store, staff offices, recreational mess, police station, and a variety of accommodation such as single men’s quarters and residences for married staff and families.
Bogong State School
In 1941 the Primary School at Bogong Village enrolled its first intake of students comprising nine pupils. Initially the school consisted of a large classroom, storeroom and boys and girls toilets. Extensions were carried out in 1944, which expanded the capabilities of the school. A library, storeroom, pupil’s lunchroom and shelter shed were added and rock gardens were established. By 1947 the number of students had grown to 46 all of whom were children of local SEC workers. Over the years class sizes fluctuated and the building remained unchanged. In 1980 it ceased to operate as a school and sat idle, eventually falling into disrepair. In 2004 it was sold along with many other buildings in the village.
Madelynne Cornish and Philip Samartzis bought the Old School and set about restoring it to its former glory. The rotting weatherboards and floorboards, smashed windows and flaking paint are now a distant memory. The newly refurbished building occupies it’s original footprint and bares a strong resemblance to it’s former self. Although the internals have been modernized remnants of it’s past history remain. The Old School once played a significant role in the fabric of village life. It inspired the community and helped shape the minds of those who studied there. It is our intention as custodians that the School once again functions as a place of inspiration.
- Reference: Kiewa Kids School Days at Bogong & Mount Beauty by Graham Gardner
- ISBN 0-646-36226-7. Published 1998
These compositions emerge from a series of residencies facilitated by Tura New Music to afford new encounters with the Kimberley through the deep listening practices of Indigenous people in communities of the Dampier Peninsula, Warmun and Kununurra. The sounds comprising these compositions are recorded across a vast and spectacular landscape featuring abundant wildlife, stark habitat, settlements and decaying infrastructure. A raw beauty radiates throughout this topography of dreams in which standard notions of time and space become entangled with oppressive heat and humidity to engender a densely textured atmosphere. Here listening is used by Indigenous people to register seasonal transformations, migratory patterns, social interactions, and alterations in landscape ecology. While the Kimberley is widely celebrated for its remarkable natural splendour, there is another side expressed through pervasive wildfire, abandoned homesteads, and mountains of mine tailings that complicate the experience of Country. Anthropogenic sound produced by rusting fences, corrugated sheds, forlorn windmills, and conveys of road trains however are as important to its overall acoustic ecology as the Brolga, Jabiru or the Green Tree Frog. The sounds selected for these compositions are informed by many conversations with Indigenous people in communities from across the region. They spoke with delight of the sound of the Boab and Rain Tree, and in awe of helicopters flying across Country, and with horror of the flood that destroyed Warmun in 2011. To the communities of the Kimberley, sound is a powerful signifier of place and an acute way of remembering. Listening with sensitivity provides a complex way to experience a profound spiritual presence resonating across time and space, and echoing back within the multitude of deteriorating canyons and valleys of this astonishing place.
Composition: Philip Samartzis
Sound Recordists: Madelynne Cornish & Philip Samartzis
All through and as part of Tura New Music’s Regional and Remote Residency program.
In carrying out these projects with Indigenous communities, Tura and the artists acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands visited respectively being the Bardi, Gija and Miriwoong people, their ongoing connection to and care of the land and honour their Elders past, present and emerging.
For these residency projects, Tura partnered with, and thanks, the Djarindjin, Lombadina and Ardyaloon Aboriginal Corporations, Warmun Art Centre, Warmun Community Inc and Waringarri Aboriginal Arts.
The Residencies were supported by State Government of Western Australia through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, and The Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding advisory body as well as Healthway.