Tjaabi-Flood Country: A Decade in the Making

Tjaabi-Flood Country: A Decade in the Making

In an event that bridges the gap between cultures and generations, Tjaabi-Flood Country is set to captivate audiences with its powerful narrative and artistic expression. This national contemporary intercultural music and theatre performance sheds light on the enduring challenges and resilience of Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara region, both culturally and environmentally.

A Tale of Strength and Perseverance

Tjaabi-Flood Country delves into the strength and perseverance of Indigenous societies, portraying their steadfastness amidst persistent obstacles and transformations. Utilizing music, oral expressions, and vivid visual representations of the distinct Pilbara terrain, the performance immerses audiences in a rich tapestry of stories and landscapes.

At the heart of this compelling narrative is Ngarluma Songman Patrick Churnside, who recounts his upbringing in the Pilbara region. His storytelling paints a picture of a diverse terrain, stretching from the vast expanses of the Great Sandy Desert to the verdant tablelands. Through his personal experiences, Churnside brings to life the beauty and challenges of his homeland.

The Essence of Tjaabi

Central to Tjaabi-Flood Country is the Tjaabi song form, an exclusive and integral part of the First Nations peoples of the Pilbara region. Each Tjaabi song is tied to a specific location within the Pilbara and is passed down through generations, each song preserving the essence of its original singer. Patrick Churnside’s grandfather was one such revered singer, and his legacy continues through Patrick’s dedication to the Tjaabi tradition.

Big hART and City of Melville Collaboration

The performance is a proud presentation by Big hART, supported by the City of Melville. The event will be held at the newly refurbished City of Melville Main Hall. This collaboration has provided Churnside with a platform to revive the Tjaabi song tradition within his local community and on a national and international stage.

“Tjaabi has become one of my passions and life’s work. I pour my heart into it, researching, learning, and performing,” Churnside shares. Through his unwavering commitment, he hopes to foster understanding and reconciliation, promote greater awareness of Country, and strengthen the song, story, and culture.

A Unique Cultural Experience

Jana Braddock, Acting Creative Producer of Arts and Culture for the City of Melville, emphasizes that Tjaabi will offer attendees a multifaceted experience. “This performance builds on the storytelling work we have undertaken alongside Big hART and the Ieramugadu community over a number of years, fostering a greater understanding of reconciliation and appreciation for Country and its cultural richness,” she says.

“Tjaabi is more than just music; it’s a reflection of stories, dreams, and moments encapsulated in crisp poetic language. We are thrilled to welcome Tjaabi-Flood Country to Melville for their very first Perth performance, and for the community to experience cultural exchange through sharing the Tjaabi song tradition.”

Artistic Excellence

Tjaabi-Flood Country is a modern and refined artistic piece, co-created by Scott Rankin and Patrick Churnside. The performance features intricate musical compositions by Aaron Hopper, enhanced by captivating visuals from Benjamin Ducroz and Jordan East. Together, they create an immersive and evocative experience that resonates deeply with audiences.

Event Details

Location: City of Melville Main Hall, 10 Almondbury Rd, Booragoon WA 6154
Dates: Wednesday, 19 June; Thursday, 20 June; and Friday, 21 June
Time: Evening performances at 7 pm with day shows available for school bookings

Join us for Tjaabi-Flood Country and witness a decade of dedication and artistry come to life. This is more than a performance; it’s an opportunity to engage with the rich cultural heritage of the Pilbara and support the ongoing journey of reconciliation and cultural revival

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