I don’t think I’ve experienced heat like our last trip to Wilcannia. The temperature gauge read 42°C in the shade and it felt like the car tyres were about to melt, followed closely buy our bodies. Adam, Stu and I took what respite we could from the Wilcannia Motel’s clunky “air conditioner” (which, I can only assume, was installed a few years before the wheel was invented) before heading out into the hot desert air to run our first workshop of seven for the 3 days out west.
We arrived to some familiar faces at the Wings drop-in centre and got to work on some pretty cool tracks! For me, it had been almost a year between visits. With all new staff at the drop-in, I was astounded to see how well the kids knew the routine. I wrote a song about ‘Sydney’ with Larissa, as she was excited to be visiting her sister, who lives in Sydney, during the school holidays.
The following day was spent at St Therese’s school in Wilcannia, where we’ve established a great rapport with the kids in the workshops. There we worked with kids from kindergarten and years 1 and 2, for the duration of the school day. Being December, it was time for Christmas songs for some inspiration! The most standout theme for production of the St Therese’s songs is the inclusion of their very own percussion instruments, it became utter chaos with each of the guys reaching for their own instrument (which includes a device that very closely mimics the sound of thunder!) so before long it was time for the instruments to go away before we moved onto recording all the super cute verses…
After a deflated goodbye, we headed for another solid afternoon at Wings before the 2 hour drive back to Broken Hill for the evening, where we were lucky enough to catch the incredible sunset over the desert.
Up early and it was a short (2 hour) drive to Menindee. There we spent the day working with the high school students, recording several class tunes including the hard-hitting MENINDEE BOYZ and the more subdued, tongue in cheek bluesy number “Get Home”, which made light of how the teachers don’t have a clue about them..!
And so it was back in the car, for the rush back to the Broken Hill airport where we made our flight before being delayed on the stop over in Dubbo due to inclement weather in Sydney. And so it was, another successful trip! The March 2014 trip promises to be even better, with a couple more days on the ground in Broken Hill and Wilcannia this time.
For a full gallery of images go HERE
Words: Charlie O’Brien
Photos: Adam Bozzetto