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These videos showcase instruments made by Graham Caldersmith

Enoggera Ensemble


Performed by the Enoggera Ensemble: Duncan Gardiner (guitar), Marissa Carroll (mandolin), Joel Woods (banjo) and Dominic Ward (guitar). Please like us on Facebook Please subscribe to our YouTube channel Please visit Video by Tangible Media Euoggera by Duncan Gardiner (b. 1983) with soundscape by Ben Kossenberg (b. 1982) Enoggera is the name of a suburb in Brisbane. The word is, however, a misspelled contraction of a phrase in the Turrbal language meaning ‘sing-play’ or ‘song and dance’. It was intended that the suburb name be recorded as Euoggera (though it was sometimes also written as Yewoggera or Yowoggera), but a spelling error was made at the New South Wales Survey Office and the letter ‘u’ was mistaken for an ‘n.’ According to an article published in the Brisbane Courier in 1887, in order to prevent confusion in the title deeds, “the ugly and harsher” spelling of Enoggera thus “had to be perpetuated.” The word also referred to a ceremonial place used for dancing—a corroboree place—and specifically, a site located near the mouth of Breakfast Creek. The locality of present-day Enoggera was once known as Booloorchambinn (Turpentine Tree). The ideas of song and dance serve as inspiration for the composition, where both elements come together. Euoggera begins with an imagined dance, which is portrayed at first by the rhythmic groove created in the lower guitar part and later by the decorative melodic figurations presented by the mandolin and soprano guitar. The dance comes to an abrupt stop in the middle of the work before the song commences. The song element, however, is really a lament. Each of the instruments play distinct melodic lines, depicting a number of voices, with the polyphony lending a conversational quality to the lament. On the surface, Euoggera conjures elements of song and dance; symbolically, however, it is an artistic response to the history of colonisation in Queensland. Euoggera is informed by a letter titled “The Way We Civilise” that was originally published in The Cooktown Courier in 1880. The author reveals the abhorrent ways in which the Aboriginal inhabitants of Queensland were treated by colonists as they expanded their industrial activities into the north and the interior of the state. The letter was later reprinted in The Queenslander in May that year. In the introduction, the editor explained: “The writer lays bare a painful sore in our system of colonisation which few of us are not conscious, but which we are apt in sheer disgust to ignore altogether. He uses strong language, but not stronger than that which is forced from every man who retains the ordinary feelings of humanity when brought in contact with the sickening and brutal war of races that is carried on in our outside settlements, especially those in the North.” The letter elicited many responses from readers. Consequently, the letter and all of these responses were collected and reprinted into a book titled The Way We Civilise; Black and White; The Native Police; A Series of Articles and Letters Reprinted from the Queenslander. Euoggera is a programmatic work, evoking a time and place shortly before the colonists arrived, conjuring the sorts of sounds that would have been heard at the time, such as footsteps in the scrub, a fire being lit with sticks, dancing, singing, and ceremony. Also heard are the sounds of a river gently lapping its edge, and curlews and owls calling in the night. The first sighting of the arrival of captains and convicts is portrayed in the music, as are the boatloads of men in uniforms, missionaries, and free settlers. The piece conveys these constant arrivals in music by adding several layers of texture, each with a distinct character. Euoggera traces the early minor conflicts and their escalation into what became large-scale warfare, and the brutal—often unprovoked—attacks on Aboriginal people. The unrelenting massacres come to a climax before a long lament unfolds. The beginning of the lament is eerily peaceful, reflecting white Australia’s attempts to deliberately write the genocide out of its history books. Towards the end of the work, however, rhythmic clashes and harmonic dissonances become stronger and more obvious. This represents the undeniable truth emerging from the historical document. Unresolved, Euoggera closes with an uneasy return to the dance.
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