Remembering Hermannsburg and the Strehlows in cantata form: Music, the German-Australian past and reconciliation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Postcolonial Studies, 2018, 21 (1), pp. 113 - 129
Issue Date:
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© 2018 The Institute of Postcolonial Studies. This essay uses the 2003 symphonic Cantata Journey to Horseshoe Bend to examine some of the different entangled memories of German missionisation in Central Australia, including those held by the settler-European librettist Gordon Kalton Williams and members of the Indigenous Ntaria community choir, among others. Rather than simply reading this as a pernicious settler-Australian appropriation of Aboriginal culture, or as a simple story of harmonious intercultural collaboration, the author seeks to open up the multiplicity of meanings – the consonances, as well as the ambiguities and the disconcerting moments of uncanniness and clash that lie beneath the surface of a musical act of memory.
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