What's On


The Black Arm Band

Presented in Season 2 2009

World Premiere
Presented by Melbourne International Arts Festival in association with Arts House in collaboration with The Black Arm Band

7.30pm, Fri 23 Oct
7.30pm, Sat 24 Oct

100 mins no interval
Prem $78
A Res $60 / $45 / $54 Groups (8+)
B Res $48 / $36
C Res $33.60 / $25.20
Student (B Res/C res) $25

Arts Centre
State Theatre
100 St Kilda Rd,

Contains haze effects. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are warned the text and audio material included in this concert has been gathered from a range of sources and may contain images and voices of Indigenous people who have passed away, and images of places could cause sorrow.


Image result for Wheelchair accessible
Wheelchair Accessible

Show Program:
PDF version
Word version

dirtsong is a music performance from Aboriginal Australia mixing traditional and contemporary songs, existing repertoire with newly commissioned music and sung in many Indigenous Australian languages.

A narrative about country,dirtsong evokes a sense of geographical place and ‘country’ as a series of encounters, memories, occurrences,obligations and nature.

With words from Miles Franklin Award-winning author Alexis Wright (Carpentaria), these songs evoke a new conceptual and emotional map of Australia’s heartland while gently awakening some of Australia’s sleeping languages.

The Black Arm Band is a collection of many of Australia’s premier Aboriginal musicians. The ensemble performs, promotes and celebrates contemporary Australian Indigenous music. Its members come from across the country and embody diverse musical, linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

dirtsong promises a musical journey to stir the soul.

Mark Atkins, Lou Bennett, Deline Briscoe, Emma Donovan, Kutcha Edwards, Dewayne Everettsmith, Leah Flanagan, Shane Howard, Ruby Hunter, Bunna Lawrie, Djolpa Mckenzie, Lee Morgan, Shellie Morris, Archie Roach, Dan Sultan, Bart Willoughby
Special Guest:
Jimmy Barnes
Original Text:
Alexis Wright
Wurundjeri Elder and Patron of The Black Arm Band:
Aunty Joy Murphy
Repertoire and Vocals Supervisor:
Lou Bennett

Arrangements and Orchestrations:
Eugene Ball, Iain Grandage, Kate Neal, Jocelyn Pook (UK), Julien Wilson with artists of The Black Arm Band

Alexis Wright is supported by The Writting and Society Research Group, College of Arts, University of Western Sydney and we acknowledge the generous support of Central Land Council

Supported by – City of Melbourne, Australian Government through the Australian Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body  through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board and the Music Board, VicHealth, Arts Victoria and Andyinc Foundation.
Image by – Andrew Curtis