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  1. Australia Landing in the Kimberley region Land of the Aborigines c.1920 scarification

  2. The Little River Band, The Bee Gees, Nick Cave, INXS, AC/DC, Midnight Oil, silverchair, and, yes, Kylie Minogue are Australia's most famous music exports. Live music is common in Australian pubs, with Melbourne now hosting the liveliest scene. Musicians from Australia

  3. Food from Australia Vegemite is made from leftover brewers' yeast extract (a by-product of beer manufacture) and various vegetable and spice additives. It is very dark reddish-brown, almost black, filled with Vit B. It's thick like peanut butter, but it’s very salty. Australian children are brought up on Vegemite from the time they're babies.

  4. Peter Weir, Bruce Beresford, George Miller, Gillian Armstrong are all well-known Australian directors, while Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman are the country's best-known actors. The Aussie film industry is small but well-supported. Film industry 4/16/2010 Gibson splits with girl- friend Russell Crowe & Family Hollywood Walk of Fame Star 4-13-2010

  5. Opera and Australia • Dame Joan Sutherland is Australia’s best known opera star. Busy in the 1960s, she is a very famous coloratura soprano. She was recently honored at the Kennedy Center. • Nellie Melba (as in Melba toast and Peach Melba) from Melbourne, get it, get it?, was the world’s biggest opera star at the beginning of the 20th century

  6. Nellie Melba • THE prima donna at Covent Garden in London during the 1910s and 1920s

  7. Current topics….. • Film: Rabbit Proof Fence • Sisters Molly Kelly (d. January 2004, at age 86) and Daisy Kadibil, 79, are the central attractions of a tourist boom in their remote Pilbara community being fuelled by the success of a small-budget film telling their story from seven decades ago.

  8. The film tells the true story of a 2000km journey by the pair and their cousin Gracie, as chronicled by Molly's daughter Doris Pilkington in her book, Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence. The young trio walked home to Jigalong from the Moore River settlement where they had been forcibly taken by the government in the 1930s

  9. Australia’s Stolen Generation 2009 • •

  10. A second film about Aborigines • Where the Green Ants Dream--1984 • a slow paced, very interesting view of a sacred space and its destruction by modern developments of a mining company • Tells of an Aboriginal tribe's struggle to save their sacred grounds from encroaching civilization. • They believe that man's so-called reality is no more than the dream of a strange insect indigenous to the Australian continent.

  11. Books • Dreamkeepers (1994) • A Spiritual Journey into Aboriginal Australia by Harvey Arden • The Songlines (1987) By Bruce Chatwin 1940-1989

  12. Australian Aboriginal culture • can claim to be the oldest continuous living culture on the planet • Aboriginal presence in Australia has been traced to at least 40,000 years BP. Some of the evidence points to dates over 60,000 years old.

  13. Aborigines land The Kimberley region of Western Australia is one of the world's last great wilderness areas. It has one of the fastest population growth rates in Australia, yet has fewer people per square kilometer than almost any other place on earth. Kununurra Australia weather

  14. The word “aborigine” has Latin roots and means “there from the beginning”

  15. Some Aboriginal tribes • Ewamian Muddie • Girramiy Jittabul • Dunjgar Gunninggurr • Jidinji • Birri-Gubba • Kuku Yalanji

  16. Hallmark of culture • The hallmark of Aboriginal culture is oneness with nature. • In traditional Aboriginal belief systems, nature and landscape are comparable in importance to the Bible in Christian culture. • Prominent rocks, canyons, rivers, waterfalls, islands, beaches and other natural features - as well as sun, moon, visible stars and animals - have their own stories of creation and inter-connectedness.

  17. Belief system • To the traditional Aborigine they are all sacred: environment is the essence of Australian Aboriginal godliness. • Out of this deep reverence for nature Aborigines learned to live in remarkable harmony with the land and its animals.

  18. Dreamtime • This term is most often used to mean the time before time…or the time of the creation of all things

  19. Dreaming • often used to refer to an individual's or group's set of beliefs or spirituality • 'Ancestor Spirits' came to Earth in human and other forms and the land, the plants and animals were given their form as we know them today. • These Spirits also established relationships between groups and individuals

  20. Dreaming beliefs • Where they traveled across the land or came to a halt, they created rivers, hills, other landmarks. There are often stories attached to these places. • Once their work was done, the Ancestor Spirits changed again; into animals or stars or hills or other objects

  21. Dreaming, con’t. • The Ancestor Spirits and their powers have not gone, they are present in the forms into which they changed at the end of the 'Dreamtime' or 'Dreaming. • For Indigenous Australians, the past is still alive and vital today and will remain so into the future.

  22. Dreaming con’t • Stories are handed down from generation to generation • responsible for topographical features which can still be seen • responsible for living creatures which are present in rites performed • responsible for structured society whose codes are still observed

  23. And more…. • After the creation of all of that, the powers either sank into the earth or water or rose up into the sky to form constellations and stars • The powers can fluctuate between human or animal forms, so you see distortion of these images sometimes

  24. Supernatural communication • Belief that communication does exist between powers of The Dreaming and people of the present • Signs show this…. such as a rainbow. That is evidence that the Rainbow Serpent has been busy. • Paranormal experiences of dream and trance are another sign.

  25. Creativity? • Creativity is attributed ONLY to the powers of creation. People don’t create the forms, but receive and reproduce them. • This is not unlike the Native American belief of unraveling what’s already in the universe.

  26. People and relationships • In Aboriginal society, people are related by an extremely complex system to one another, to places, and to animals, birds, or insect species.

  27. MUSIC • In music, there are • rites of life • rites of death • rites of passage (ages and stages)

  28. Rites of Death • Major position in Aboriginal society • death is considered to be the result of sorcery • often brought about by “singing” a person • that is, performing a poison song against someone • • (funeral in Arnhem Land)

  29. Subtleties of the music • May seem to be the same, but there are subtle variations • Rhythm, harmony and musical expression vary • The texts vary, of course

  30. Brolga ceremony

  31. Music is primarily vocal • Most instruments are percussive • Sticks, boomerangs, bark bundles struck on the palm • Bullroarer • hollow log drums • body slapping and clapping • hissing, calls, growls, grunts, shouts

  32. Song types Wonga: didjeridu clapsticks singing by one or more songmen who set the rhythm Djunba: no didjeridu men and women singing harmonies men play clap sticks women clap

  33. traditional

  34. Didjeridu • Most distinctive and typically Aboriginal/Australian instrument • made of a tree branch that was hollowed out by termites • piece of bamboo • any hollow tube (PVC pipe) • 1.5 meters long or so • 3 cm diameter at the mouthpiece

  35. Painting a didj, member of the Gunninggurr tribe

  36. Didjeridu con’t • Decorated with designs, either carved or painted or both • EXTRAORDINARILY difficult to play well… • Sing and blow at the same time, then can alter the fundamental pitch • use circular breathing

  37. Graham Wiggins

  38. What did you learn from the aboriginal masters and how has it changed your own personal sound? I had to learn a whole different way of holding my mouth and producing the sound on the instrument in order to imitate their style. It was philosophically important just on a musical level because I discovered that for them the circular breathing is not something that's primarily to do with keeping a note going for a long time. For them circular breathing is how you create the rhythm, the basic in and out cycle of the breath, the circular breathing cycle creates the rhythmic phrasing of the music.


  40. Q. What do you call a boomerang that won’t come back ? A. A stick