Dili and beyond residents should mark next Saturday 9th August in their diaries, as there will be a Choral concert at 4pm at the Complecxo GMT, Rua Jacinto Candido, Dili.
Visiting Darwin Chorale will join and sing together and separately with singers from Balide and Motael churches. A new work “Ola Timor” will get its world premiere at this concert.
In return the Balide and Motael singers will visit Darwin for a similar concert at the Darwin Festival on Sunday 24th August at 6.30pm in the beautiful outdoors StarShell in the Botanical Gardens.
These reciprocal concerts are part of the dream for closer cultural exchange between Darwin and Dili. Darwin Festival has been visited by Cinco do Oriente and Galaxie bands with great success. This year Ego Lemos is again visiting doing a special collaboration with an indigenous star, (newly discovered by the rest of the world) in Gurrumul Yunupingu, and Galaxie is back by popular demand.
Many of us will have heard the stunning singing by choirs in East Timor. The Darwin Chorale will have to be at its best to match this. However its conductor is a brilliant and experienced musician Nora Lewis, who though aware of Timor issues for a long time has been captivated by the experience of actually visiting, and also working with singers led by Antonio de Padua, Humberto Lopez da Cruz, and has composed her 3 part work Ola Timor: the Invitation (in Tetum and ‘Strine’); the Crossover (early perceptions); and Love Song. The Chorale president Jenny ‘Scott-of-the-Tropics’ deserves special mention for her hard work in getting this event to happen, and Festival Director Malcolm Blaylock for the Commission.
I wonder if Timor Governments have put enough effort into the power of culture (ancient and modern) and sport to unite and inspire Timorese from all parts of the country, both within country and internationally. Last year was a triumph for some Timorese runners at the biannual Arafura Games held in mid-May, though arrangements to come were a shambles, and 3 years ago no team came. Lets plan now for next year’s Arafura Games, and hope for more athletes than officials. Every year in August we have the Darwin Festival. And every two or 3 years we have the International Guitar Festival, and it would be inspirational to be able to select the best East Timorese guitarists to compete for special places at this. Darwin will be privileged to see from November a stunning exhibition of ancient Timorese objects ‘Husi Bei Ala Timor Sira Nia Liman’ at our Museum and Art Gallery
Meanwhile Darwin Chorale members are gathering in Dili, so please look out for them, especially next Saturday at 4pm. (I would like to have been there, being a founder member of the choir). And would someone please explain exactly what the GMT Complex is? Will the government support the new Music Conservatorium being led by Mary McKillop Sisters, Antonio de Padua and Ros Dunlop. And when the Government will build a beautiful performance space for local and visiting artists?
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