Creating Sound on the Salt Lake

Creating Sound on the Salt Lake

Jon Solmundson

Tjuma Pulka is preparing something truly unique in the salt flats around Kalgoorlie; it’s a bit of celebration, and a bit of mystery.

We caught up with new Country Arts WA board member and Tjuma Pulka CEO, Debbie Carmody, this week to talk about how Sound on the Salt Lake is coming together – a project which will bring together international and local Goldfields-Esperance musicians.

Debbie said the idea began to form during community meetings about the Goldfields-Esperance Arts and Cultural Framework – the Framework itself emerging out of the Country Arts WA Goldfields-Esperance Focus Region project.

Filming the creation story “Lady from the Salt Lake”. Pictures by Debbie Carmody.

“It’s in response to what the community wanted, we looked at what is unique in Kalgoorlie, in the Goldfields region,” she said. “Our salt lakes are unique.”

Describing the appearance of the salt lake landscape, Debbie explained that while she had personally experienced the natural beauty of windswept salt lakes, many others hadn’t, and it was something people needed to see.

“It’s to get people out on Country, to experience being on a salt lake in the desert as the sun sets. It’s to experience the beautiful colours, and how the sun glistens across the lake, contrast against the surrounding earth.”

Since it began coming together, the festival has now honed down to a musical focus, with Mathias Duplessy & The Violins of the World – an international ensemble of string instruments – arriving two weeks before the festival to run musical workshops with the local Brownley Gospel Singers.

“What we want to do is a cross cultural thing of using language and combining it with throat singing,” Debbie said.

“The theme of it stems from the idea of bringing together musicians to tell grassroots stories through music and also to bring people together; they can learn from each other and understand. Also for everyone to be entertained!”

Things are tracking along quite well for the March event, with a site picked out (though that will remain secret until festival goers purchase their tickets) and roads being put down to ensure the lake will be accessible.

Debbie’s key project at the moment is filming an Acknowledgement of Country short, based on the creation story Lady from the Salt Lake – to be screened as the sun sets on the evening of the day.

For more information on the event, stay tuned to the Country Arts WA event page, which you can submit your own regional events to here.

Sound on the Salt Lake has been created by a core team of Debbie Carmody (Creative Director), Jasmyn J Javu-Kama (Creative Producer), Libby Carmody (Sound Designer), Sean Lillico (Sound Designer) and Donna Malec (Project Manager).

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