The National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) has announced the program for the inaugural Sound Day to be held at the NFSA’s Canberra headquarters on Wednesday 18 June.
Sound Day is a new addition to the national cultural calendar, where the sounds of Australia will be celebrated by many sectors of the music industry, broadcasters, journalists and the public alike.
“Sound Day is a wonderful opportunity for all Australians to share in the past, present and future of recorded sound as one of the most fundamental activities of our everyday lives,” said the NFSA’s Director, Paolo Cherchi Usai. “Whether it’s our favourite Top Ten hit or the sounds in our backyards, we want to stimulate discussion and debate about how we listen to sound and inspire us to open our ears to the many sources and functions of sound all around us.”
Highlights of the diverse program include the announcement of the 2008 entries to Sounds of Australia, the presentation of the inaugural Thomas Rome Lecture and a string quartet of robots and their musical avatars breaking new boundaries of sound.
The centrepiece of the day will be the announcement by the Hon Peter Garrett AM, MP, Minister for the Arts, of the 2008 entries into Sounds of Australia, the national registry of recorded sound. Each year, the NFSA invites the public to nominate Australia’s most important sound recordings, and a panel of industry experts then recommends a list of 10 of these nominations to Sounds of Australia. Debate is sure to follow about what has been included and what was excluded from this year’s listing.
Sounds of Australia 2008 Patron, ARIA Hall of Fame inductee and iconic “first lady of soul” Renée Geyer will perform during the evening.
Minister Garrett is also expected to announce a groundbreaking collaboration between the NFSA and another leading Australian cultural institution.
In a day of firsts, Sound Day at the NFSA will also feature the inaugural Thomas Rome Lecture, to be delivered by former international music industry executive, Michael Smellie.
The Thomas Rome Lecture has been created to enable leading figures in the Australian recorded sound industry to foster debate, interest and ideas about the recent and current state of the industry and its possible future directions both nationally and internationally. The Lecture acknowledges the historic contribution of Thomas Rome, who recorded what is thought to be Australia’s earliest surviving sound recording, The Hen Convention (1896).
Michael Smellie is known for his creative thinking and lively delivery. “Sound is a cultural and business phenomenon in one,” said Paolo Cherchi Usai. “We believe a more public debate about the directions and 21st century possibilities of this phenomenon is overdue and the NFSA is honoured to have Michael Smellie present our inaugural Thomas Rome Lecture.”
Sound Day also launches “Hearing Places”, the latest book from internationally acclaimed Australian sound-sculptor, curator, performer and composer, the vibrant Ros Bandt and two colleagues from the University of Melbourne. It will be launched by fellow composer and sound artist Warren Burt.
Burt then later joins other musicians and a quartet of high energy music-robots in Sono-Perception, a bristling and dynamic program of four new works presented by the Melbourne-based new music group JOLT. The robots and their inventor James Hullick, known as the “wild one” of recent Australian music, admit few boundaries in their pursuit of new dimensions of sound and music.
The NFSA hopes that Sound Day will eventually become our national day for reflecting on sound and music in our environment and looks forward to its development as a prominent and annual feature on the Australian cultural calendar.