Pilbara Sounds – immersive field recording project

Tura has commenced the first of a series of field recording residencies and workshops with Martu artists and community members in Punmu from 22 June until 5 August. Punmu is a Martu community in the east Pilbara, Western Australia.

Judith Anya Samson and Annika Moses on Lake Dora. Photograph by Zoe Martyn.

Judith Anya Samson and Annika Moses on Lake Dora. Photograph by Zoe Martyn.

As part of a three-year creative project partnership between Tura New Music and Martumili Arts and supported by BHP, Pilbara Sounds aims to build and improve skills and understandings of Martu artists and community in field recording techniques and methodology. The workshops will facilitate community to devise immersive sound works incorporating the guidance of Elders and local rangers. An evolving project, the development will be shaped by iterative planning along the collaboration.

Pilbara Sounds will include five collaboration periods of at least three weeks each, taking place over the next three years. The resulting new media works will be shared and celebrated with the community, exhibited at the Martumili Gallery in Newman with plans for exhibitions and showings in Perth and nationally.

The project is facilitated by Philip Samartzis, sound artist and researcher at RMIT School of Art, who was Tura’s artist in residence across the Kimberley 2010 – 2012 for the Topography of Dreams project and will be on the ground for the future Pilbara Sounds project.

Judith Anya Samson and Annika Moses on Lake Dora. Photograph by Zoe Martyn.

Philip’s practice involves sound art, acoustic ecology and spatial sound practices, with a specific focus on sound, art and the environment.

Unable to come to WA in 2021, Philip is mentoring emerging sound artist Sound Artist Annika Moses across the first residency. Producer Tim Pearn is part of the first residency activating community engagement and documentation

The project will result in the creation of sound and new media works reflecting the eco-acoustic characteristics of the specific locations worked in. The team will work closely with community to better understand the traits that specifically mark each place, which will then be documented through sound and other contemporary media. The resulting creative work is an outcome of the close dialogue shared between the artists and communities, with a focus on the anthropogenic, natural and atmospheric conditions and events informing each location. The soundscapes capture not only the obvious community clamour, but also the subtle timbre experience and essence of the environment.

Over the period of the project other media practitioners including screen will participate in the process further broadening its scope and reach.

Judith Anya Samson and Annika Moses on Lake Dora. Photograph by Zoe Martyn.

Pilbara Sounds is a project of Tura and Martumili Arts and is supported by BHP.

The 2021 Residency is supported by State Government of Western Australia’s Creative Communities Fund through Lotterywest and Department of Local Government, Sport and Culture.