Immersing audiences in the history of Sydney Harbour, with music specially created for each site, Acoustic Life of Boatsheds is everything you could want from a festival celebrating its city.
Acoustic Life of Boatsheds from Big hART, happening as part of this year’s Sydney Festival, takes audiences on a tour of the harbour’s working history, immersing you in a history dating back tens of thousands of years and very much still in existence today.
Boarding an historic Rosman ferry at Darling Harbour, you visit Me-Mel (Goat Island), Lavender Bay and Rozelle Bay, with performances at each site, as well as one on the boat itself.
As we set off we are welcomed by Uncle Terry Olsen from Tribal Warrior, who introduces us to the Indigenous names for the islands and waterways we would be visiting on this trip, from Tumbalong (Darling Harbour) to Me-Mel (Goat Island).
We arrive at Me-Mel and are ushered into the Scow Shed, an open-ended work area for the shipwrights that built and maintained scows – flat-bottomed vessels used for the collection and transport of garbage around the harbour – with a metal roof and stone floor, where percussionist Claire Edwardes awaits us.
By Hugh Robertson