Underground Serbian Church

This remarkable & unique singing journey up through South Australia and the Northern Territory (via some breathtaking terrain and vivid cultural interactions) came to an end came to an end June 1. That night, at Aboriginal artist Kathleen Buzacott’s gorgeous studio outside Alice, Backhouse & the Backroaders & the Ntaria Womens’ Choir from Hermannsburg shared a delicious curry around the fires & sang for the invited audience. This wrapped up the previous two weeks rather nicely – singing, culture, beautiful environment. I’m just going to mention my personal highlights. The three South Australia performances in Quorn, Marree & Coober Pedy, for instance, where raised money for local causes – three very different environments in towns that wouldn’t get a lot of a cappella gospel & who really seemed to love what we did.
In Quorn, we had a very informal gig in the lovely heritage space of Emily’s Bistro at the Great Northern Lodge (thanks Wendy & Sally for wonderful meals & cheerful hospitality); at Marree we sang outside the illuminated historic Marree Hotel while the locals sat in the chairs on the road; and at Coober Pedy, the wonderful underground Serbian Church was an aesthetic and acoustic wonder.
That evening peaked for us all when the locals stood up, linked arms and sang along with our one Serbian song Mnogaja Ljeta.
Leaving South Australia, we drove to Uluru to hang around the most iconic rock on the planet & walk a bit in the Olgas. We filmed ourselves singing at sunset with Uluru in the background. There we also spent time with the local Aboriginal female elders, notably with the wonderful Alison Hunt who – we were surprised to discover – had written a song for us. Battling our way through an unfamiliar & tricky language, we learned the song in the afternoon & sang it to the elders that night as we sat around the campfire. A nice evening of song sharing followed, with the gracious elders singing What A friend We Have in Jesus & God Be With You & other hymns.
Then on to Alice Springs which became our base for daytrips to sing in the outstanding natural beauty of Standley Chasm & Ormiston Gorge, and to workshop with the Ntaria Ladies’ Choir in Hermannsburg. Thanks to SoundTracks Travel creator Raymond Hawkins for his vision & energy & for putting it all together, to Jules Damian for tireless tour managing & to our drivers/guides/cooks/luggers Mark & Ross for doing all the hard work – and to all the singers whose enthusiasm & willingness made it all work.
A short video which will say everything better than I could can be seen here – watch it on a big screen & pump up the volume. And there are still places available for Singing To The Heart in May 2020, when we reprise the whole beautiful experience.

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