Good Bye Bogong Village!
Unfortunately for our last day – our „AIR Intervention“ – it rained like cats and dogs. I learned from my work with „Landscape Quartet“ weather/nature is always the unexpected partner in a collaboration like this and it keeps you up on your toes with your improvisation skills. I have to admit – even though I heard the story of the Bogong AIR 2011 and the heavy rain – I didn’t expect this for our „Intervention“. I count on rain, working in Sweden and in England, which I do very often, but not in summer in Australia! Now I know better.
I’m still thinking about the word „intervention“: As I’m not a native speaker, I’m not sure, if I understand it right. But I guess, thinking about the meaning – how I understand it – I would not speak about my work as an intervention to nature (even if I do intervene???), I see it more as an interaction with nature. And in our case on this day I would say, it was nature intervening with us and our projects. All three of us had to adjust to this new wet situation. But we did it and it went well! Even if it felt like hanging wet laundry onto a clothes line when I put the bark on the fishing line. The bark lost it’s form and due to the heavy rain. The river became much stronger and louder, I had to raise the volume of my installation, everything felt a little bit „too loud“ to me. I remember Madelynne saying on a walk, how she finds it amazing, that each sound in nature has its place. There is so much going on, but you hear everything and nothing is „too much“. I like this thought and I had this in mind putting up my installation (and this is how I have worked in past projects). The idea is, that the installation becomes part of the soundscape of the area and doesn’t stick out and doesn’t feel like a strange thing there.
Almost every day when I worked up there with „my“ trees, I had some animals visiting.. The first day a family of Kookaburras oserved me and came closer and closer until they were sitting on the tree I was working on and watched me. Another day, there were skinks running back and forth between the trees and one of them even sat on my foot for a while, a caterpillar came, checked the contact microphone. It literally ran up the cable, had a look at the mic and ran back. It was so fast, that I almost coudn’t capture it on a photo. The day before the „AIR intervention“, when I was setting up the installation for the first time, the Kookaburros came back again. It makes me interpretate this as a consent of nature, a respond to me and what I’m doing and creating there. An interaction with nature.
I had fantastic two weeks up there and I’m grateful for all the experiences I made and to have met these wonderful people – Madelynne, Daniel and Bryden. The village, the valley, Mount Beauty, some of the encounters I had – like the annual meeting of the Country Women Association, the visit at the Mount Beauty Museum, conversations with different people – left me with a mind full of things I have to contemplate, to reflect and digest. Besides, for sure, all the material I recorded that wants to be listened to and to be taken to a next creative step like a composition or anything else I can’t think of yet.
Photo by Bryden Williams