Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rest In Peace Lyrebird 'Chook'

He shimmied and he shook
Like no ordinary chook.
He was handsome, he was bright,
He had feathers bronze and white,
A little chestnut black and grey -
His tail a wonder in display.

Chook died peacefully on 29 December 2012.

Chook was hand reared and lived for 32 years. He arrived at the Adelaide Zoo from Healesville Sanctuary 20 years ago. Now his aviary is silent.

In researching for my book about Lyrebird James and Edith Wilkinson, I don't think there is a you tube I haven't watched. This one of Chook is one of my favourites but then there are so many favourites.

Condolences to Adelaide Zoo and fans of Chook.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tango Tangents. La Mama Sunday 18 December 2011

We are just having too much fun with this show ... last chance to see before 2012!!

Presented by The Sunset Sisters with special guests Tango Mundo.

Tango songs and stories from a woman’s point of view. A lively mix of original songs by Faye Bendrups, Alison Richards and Ella Filar, some classic ‘Euro Tango’, the work of Argentinian writer Luisa Valenzuela and the voice play Last Tango in Brunswick by Alison Richards and Jackie Kerin.


La Mama Courthouse

$25 Full | $15 Concession

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ten Tellable Australian Tales

I have been locked in the study trying to cobble together a presentation for the OWOVM Conference next week. How to squeeze all I want to share into 15 minutes is proving problematical. As well as sharing information about the storytelling networks I'm plugged into around Australia and abroad, I want to share the work I have been doing on the Ten Tellable Australian Tales. I've chosen these three: Edith's Lyrebird which you can see on the video clip, Split Dog and Phar Lap.

1. Edith's Lyerbird is the story of James and Edith Wilkinson. James was one of the first male lyrebirds to be filmed and recorded in display. Edith was a flower farmer in the 1930s living on the slope of Mt Dandenong. Soon this story will be available as a book but it will be called Lyrebird! a true story. This version will be more detailed with loads of information about these birds and other songbirds that live on the mountain. Illustrator: Peter Gouldthorpe. Publisher: Museum Victoria. Yes .. the spoken story is connected to the book like blossom to fruit!

2. Split Dog comes from my fascination with tall stories. He apparently appears in Nth American folk tale, sometimes as Davey Crocket's dog but his adventures have also made it into Australian folklore.

3. Phar Lap the wonder horse. This tellable is written in ballad form. Reciting traditional verse and contemporary original poetry is still popular. In my city of Melbourne, any night of the week. you will find poets, declaiming, rapping and rhyming in pubs across town. Only last week I had the fun of reciting Phar Lap in the Carbine Bar during the Cocktail Hour! You can hear more about this one on the Museum Victoria website, and you can hear me tell it to you ... website here.

Writing this post has been a diversion from the task at hand - now its back to work!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Frocks on Bikes and Kamishibai update

Now you might be thinking what this post has to do with storytelling or my continuing evolution as an artist.

The story is a little convoluted I admit. For months now I have been working on the kamishibai-on-
bike-project. My old bike was not suitable for a rig. After weeks of browsing bike shops - eight in all, I found the perfect bike at psbikes in Yarraville.

It's stylishly black, like the traditional kamishibai bikes and a step-through, so I no longer have to heave my leg over a bar. Peter Santos brings these bikes in from Sweden - it called a Pilen (that's Swedish for 'arrow').

The next step was to design and build a box for the Kamishibai and a stand for the bike. Peter has come up with a design in steel and Ted Smith (the K maker) has inserted some earth magnets in to the base of the K to fix it to the top the box. Clear as mud?

All this will make perfect sense soon. Peter and I are just waiting for the box to be powder coated black to match the bike. I will then be able to show you a pic.

So what's all this got to do with 'Frocks on Bikes'?

Nothing really ... well ... sort of connected. While I'm waiting for the rig, I am enjoying my Pilen. Last weekend I welcomed the Frocks on Bikes as they rode the bike punt across the Yarra River to western side. Then with skirts flying and ladylike banter, we pedalled in single file to a pleasant cafe for lunch.

I love my new bike!

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