A Little Lunch Music 2016 – The Journey with William Barton

Renowned didgeridoo player William Barton, photo by Douglas Kirkland

Renowned didgeridoo player William Barton, photo by Douglas Kirkland

A Little Lunch Music opened its ninth season in 2016 at Sydney with its first program The Journey.

This was an exploration through the sounds of the didgeridoo with William Barton, who explored its ever growing repertoire of modern fusion and classical elements.

Artistic Director Kathryn Selby welcomed the audience to the City Recital Hall a world class performance space in the heart of the city of Sydney, specifically designed for excellent acoustics.

Kathryn Selby was delighted to introduce the program and the incredible William Barton.

She expressed pride in sharing with the audience that William Barton accompanied by his mother Delmae Barton will be off to work in Germany with the Brandenburg Orchestra later this year.

Barton’s warm and casual question “how is everybody?” set a relaxed informal tone and the inclusive and participatory nature of the concert was established.

This musical journey was inspired by the connections and commonalities between countries, but definitely had its origins in the Australian landscape.

The journey moved from the rivers and valleys of our ancient continent through to the oceans of the world.

Time past present and future was echoed in the sounds of the didgeridoo, voice, cello and guitar.

William Barton 2William Barton on the didgeridoo was joined by his mother Australia’s Dreamtime Opera Diva Delmae Barton, along with special guests Dave Leow, cello and Hugh Coffey, guitar.

Endless pictorial images were evoked when William Barton began playing the didgeridoo.

The distinctive sounds of the Australian bush, the movement of trees, animal cries and waters lapping pervaded the music.

The momentum of the cycles of life was breathed into the blowing and tapping of the didgeridoo.

Delmae Barton presented the next piece where mother and son united to create a haunting spirituality in the vocal and digeridoo duo.

Delmae Barton

Song writer, poet, performing artist and painter ‘Aunty’ Delmae Barton

This performance was emotionally charged and Delmae Barton communicated the range of visual colours of mother earth through her unique vocal qualities. Her dramatic voice was enhanced and emphasised by her eloquent hand gestures.

Her uplifting choral sounds projected a purity of vision innately present in her ethereal tonal nuances.

Barton affectionately applauded his mother and their mutual love and respect was warmly acknowledged by the audience.

He then changed to the guitar, plucking the beautiful sounds of rivers gently cascading, freely gushing and softly splashing smooth stones.

All was animated with the thread of life woven into the tender ebb and flow of his playing.

He dedicated this song to his mother and it vibrated with the power of courage, forgiveness, resilience, struggle and survival. He sang of the formidable emotions that permeate the road to recovery.

His voice was moving, an exquisite timber, a rich melodious sound complimented by the light and shade within his own guitar accompaniment.

This recital cast a strong net of renewal across the oceans, countries and their people.

It was a brilliant section of the concert and the audience was enthralled and very appreciative in their response.

Delmae Barton shared “her dream to sing to the world.” Insisting if you have a dream in your heart it will be carried away on spirit wings up to the stars.

She began this song with an incredible call, a holy chant. She continued soaring with a pleading intensity, a pure fervour and a universal voice of admiration for mother earth.

Her distinctive unwavering rawness of sound was mesmerising in its beauty and lucidity. It was emotionally poignant and tears welled as I felt in the presence of an aura of wisdom and dignity.

William & DelmaeThe didgeridoo was developed by Indigenous Australians over a thousand years ago and are usually made from hardwoods especially the various eucalyptus species.

William Barton jested cheekily “I have travelled around the world through a branch of a tree.”

The didgeridoo is a wind instrument played by a combination of continuously vibrating lips to produce the drone whilst simultaneously using a special breathing technique called circular breathing.

William Barton engaged the audience in imitating a variety of animal sounds and the soft patter of rain, together we told the story of a joey on an escarpment and his adventurous journey to The Rave a night club in Mt Isa.

Then Hugh Coffrey’s guitar playing took the audience on a Spanish tour of discovery. The vibrancy and rhythm of the flamenco danced in the music of the guitar.

Next William Barton’s song exuded the vastness of the dessert, its colours and sounds whilst Hugh Coffey’s guitar punctuated energy in the movement and voice of the stirring of sunrise.

The sounds of nature innately present in the music fluently evoked the texture and shades of the land.

CelloCellist Dave Loew praised William Barton as a genius one of “god’s gifts in Australia” before playing the rich wistful sounds of the cello taking the audience to where the forest meets the sea.

Delmae Barton’s voice endorsed the intense lushness of the forest, its ancient trees, twisted climbers and lush canopies.

She tenderly placed the sounds of the forest in the air, the rustle of under growth and the flight of cockatoos.

Song Company photo by Peter HislopThe Song Company joined William Barton for the final breath taking segment of the recital.

The harmony of voices spoke of the landscape, the earth, its flora and fauna ultimately its spirit was revered in the music.

A Little Lunch Music’s The Journey with William Barton chronicled an authentic musical and geographical expedition across countries, oceans and times.

Rose Niland, Special Features, The Culture Concept Circle, 2016

A Little Lunch Music 2016

City Recital Hall
Angel Place, Sydney


20 April
Sydney Youth Orchestra conducted by Alexander Briger presents a delightful program of favourite orchestral works by Mozart performed by some of Sydney’s most talented young artists.


30 June
A Little Lunch Music welcomes series Artistic Director Kathryn Selby AM and famed Australian cellist Julian Smiles for an intimate visit with Beethoven and two of his cello sonatas. Enjoy these great works and join in the discussion with the artists.


5 September
Andrew Haveron (violin), Tobias Breider (viola) and Umberto Clerici (cello), all principals in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, present a sumptuous program of string trios by Schubert and Dohnányi.


17 October
Guitar Trek present a program of South American and African music plus Nigel Westlake’s spectacular “Six Fish”. The group have reinvented the guitar quartet medium by bringing together a unique combination of classically-constructed, different-sized guitars including four different sized classical guitars, four standard guitars and steel string guitars.

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