Hearing Histories of the western Pilbara

Thursday, 9 November 2017
12 – 2pm
51 Lawson Cresent, Acton Peninsula
Australian Capital Territory

Presented by Dr Sally Treloyn, Dr Nick Thieberger, Andrew Dowding, Jared Kuvent, Dr Reuben Brown (University of Melbourne) and Dr Mary Anne Jebb (AIATSIS)

Hearing Histories of the western Pilbara investigates how public song traditions have been and continue to be used as tools for managing social, cultural and economic change among communities of the Pilbara.

western Pilbara
Hearing Histories team playing back archival audio at Yule River, Yandeyarra community, WA. Photo: Andrew Dowding

The project aims both to document public songs of the Pilbara that are held and remembered by contemporary song custodians, and to bring these alongside legacy recordings and song-based digital heritage items from collections held by AIATSIS, in order to support efforts in the community to maintain the performance tradition.

In this presentation we report on the process of digitising song-related metadata from the collection, segmenting audio and ‘unlocking’ public songs and song knowledge, connecting songs to custodians in the community, generating updated metadata for legacy audio, and linking metadata and audio to other data sets within a song database, developed by the team in consultation with song experts in the community.

Ngarluma song consultant Keith Churnside listening to archival recordings with Andrew Dowding at Shirlock River, WA. Photo: Reuben Brown

In the second half, we will discuss future plans for the evolution of the database into an online/offline environment with a virtual landscape interface, providing a tool for use by communities, institutions and researchers to secure legacy, crowd-sourced and newly created records of intangible cultural heritages for future generations. We invite feedback on topics such as how the project can be connected to the collection, issues around accessibility, and the needs of small cultural agencies to organise collections.

Seminar enquires

Nell Reidy

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Last reviewed: 17 Nov 2017