It is with great sadness we say farewell to our beloved friend David Matthews (1943-2021).
This is the site where Dave shared photos, videos and field recordings made in several countries over many years. Please explore his site and listen to his offerings. He was a generous man who offered street artists and others the opportunity to be recorded, and offered the world the opportunity to listen, not only to music of the people but also birds and frogs…
David battled ill health, but despite his personal difficulties, he helped many individuals and organisations to build their own websites, and record their rallies, concerts, poetry…
Missing you Dave. Anne Norman, best friends for 32 years.
Dave at 30.
ways of seeing …
Altsoundings offers a diverse range of images, audio soundscapes, performances & more from India, South East Asia & Australia.
It’d be great if you could drop in again from time to time & explore …
as new content is being added regularly.
All AltSoundings audio presentations are on-location field-recordings/soundscapes. They necessarily sound quite different to ‘perfect’ studio recordings as they include much of the ambience surrounding the performance/event. In fact with soundscapes … the ambience is the primary event.
Most audio is best heard through headphones … & videos are best viewed in HD & full screen.
When new content is uploaded it will first appear on this page … before being moved to its own location & accessible via the top menu.
Occasionally … interesting, earlier items buried within the top menu will also be highlighted here.
2017 UPDATE … Apologies for not being active on this site for much of 2016.
Partly due to my developing a new website http://tunnelnumberfive.com & spending several months up North. Initially … in Darwin to record a festival series of 5 concerts staged in an amazing venue … a historic ww2 oil storage tunnel under Darwin.
You can now access highlights from all 3 TN5 underground music festivals (2015, 16 & 17) … below, or via the top menu.
From Darwin … a wonderful month travelling down through NT & SA back to Melbourne.
This year (2018) AltSoundings is becoming active again with a regular flow of diverse content. Enjoy.
In the Cosmos – Sept 2016
Voice & Shakuhachi … performed by Anne Norman in a remote cave between Darwin & Alice Springs, Australia.
Based on words spoken by Anne’s father, physicist Peter Norman.
Video by David Matthews.
The following text based on an extract from Annes’ journal …
At daybreak I left my swag and tangled mozzie net to climb the rocky escarpment east of our camp. I was keen to visit the cave I found last year. This year I brought Dave with me to experience this magic place, but he was still asleep, so I scrambled alone for an hour or two. After returning to camp, I was packing up my gear when I spotted my blue foam mat in the distance. Walking across the flat gibber plain, I discovered that a dingo had taken huge bites out of it. It must have flown away from under my pillow in last night’s wild wind… I guess the dingo thought it was a bird or fleeing animal…
My feet were feeling rather punctured from the morning’s scramble through spiky Spinifex, so after breakfast, when Dave joined me in another walk up the spinifex slope to the cave, I cut my mangled mat into shields to tuck over our sandals—much more comfortable. I took my shakuhachi this time, and stayed in my favourite cave practicing. It was U shaped with both entrances facing West.
Meanwhile Dave circumnavigated the mesa investigating the other caves I’d visited at daybreak. I was practicing a new piece I’d composed using words that my dad had said during a conversation a few months earlier. I was enjoying the challenge of including voice and lyrics within a shakuhachi piece – still a new concept for me. When Dave returned, he videoed me playing / singing In the Cosmos,using the colourful rock-face as a backdrop and the pleasant acoustic of the cave to amplify my sound and protect us from the wind.
About In the Cosmos: My father is a physicist who also likes to look at the stars, although these days he’s legally blind, & pretty deaf. Dad tends to take the long view, putting things in the context of the 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang. So when I asked him what’s it like, not being able to hear conversations, or read a book, he said nothing for a while. “Did he hear me?” Then he smiled, & this is what he said:
For most of my existence,
I’ve not followed conversations or read books.
Most of my time I’ve been scattered in the elements of the cosmos.
The time for reading or conversation is only brief…
It’s a peaceful letting go, this time of life.
An expanded arrangement of “Cosmos” for viola, voice and shakuhachi was recorded in December 2016, entitled “For most of my existence.” — annemnorman.bandcamp.com/track/for-most-of-my-existence
2016 … Tunnel Number Five Festival …Darwin
Headphones highly recommended for this binaural recording
UP FROM THE DEEP – a CD of highlights from the 2016 Tunnel Number Five Festival.
Via the Bandcamp site … you can listen to any or all of the 14 tracks via Bandcamps audio streaming app. If you wish, you can then purchase/download the digital album … or any number of chosen tracks in a range of high quality formats.
Physical CDs also now available through
Readings Carlton — 309 Lygon St, Carlton, Victoria, 3053
03 9347 6633, firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 … Tunnel Number Five Festival … Darwin
Headphones highly recommended for these binaural recordings
Motherless Chil’… 5.4mins
The first evenings concert, called Impact, featured the Ad Hoc Ensemble with Kabita Ghosh.
A highlight from this concert was Motherless Chil’… adapted from Carol Maillard’s arrangement of this traditional Negro spiritual. featuring Stevie Kyriacou as the Chil’ at one end of the tunnel & a Mother chorus near the other end. They gradually move towards each other from opposite ends of the tunnel, drawing on the tunnel’s natural delay and reverberation
Stevie Kyriacou (voice)
Mariliza Papadouri (cello)
Netanela Mizrahi (voice)
Anna Faehse (voice)
Merrilee Mills (voice)
Chaccone … 7.2mins
The 5th & final evenings concert called Digging Deep, featured Chaccone composed by Nick Tsaivos. Chaccone concluded our 2017 Underground Music Festival.
“Chaccone is one of the ‘elemental structures ‘ I first composed in 1993, and it has been following me around ever since. The chaccone is based on three melodic/tonal elements that nearly, but not quite resolve – this produces a vaguely hypnotic dance as the three elements unravel within their own logic and timeframes.”
Nick Tsiavos (double bass)
Peter Neville (percussion)
Jason Guwanbal Gurruwiwi (Yolngu Manikay)
Netanela Mizrahi (violin/viola)
Anne Norman (shakuhachi)
2017 TN5 Interview
Deborah Kayser & Peter Neville interviewed on ABC radio NT evening by Rebecca McLaren :
2017 TN5 interview Deb & Pete – 20.6mins
Please note that Tunnel Number Five’s festival of underground music is NOT part of The Darwin Festival as mentioned in the introduction of the interview ….
Anne, Pete, Guwanbal, Nick and Deb – image by Paz
The 2015 pilot version of the TN5 Underground Music Festival …
Whispered Shadows … Underground Flute meditations
Venue … WW2 Oil Storage Tunnels, Darwin, Sunday 16th & 17th August 2015
In a remarkable divergance from usual venues … the ‘stage’ or performance area was only 1 metre deep by 172 metres wide/long! The remaining space mainly taken up by audience with their BYO chairs. The performers traversed the length of the tunnel past audience members who had placed their chairs randomly along the 172 metre tunnel #5, giving each listener a totally unique experience.
“The tunnels’ acoustics are total magic!”
Full details slideshow & audio tracks etc can be found here
‘Vespers’ @ Newman College Chapel
a highlight from
2011 ADVENT FESTIVAL
A festival of music and the arts based around the daily cycle of a medieval community
VESPERS AT SAINTE-CHAPELLE, PARIS
Newman College Chapel, Melbourne University
The FESTIVAL CHAMBER CHOIR
Sopranos: Heather Thomson, Leoma Dyke
Counter Tenors: Ian Travers, Peter Campbell
Tenors: Matthew Thomson, Daniel Thomson
Basses: Sam Allchurch, Kieran Macfarlane
The FESTIVAL BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
Violins: Cath Shugg (leader), Bridget Crouch, Briar Goessi, Ross Mitchell
Violas: Christian Read, Danny Neumann
Cello: Rosanne Hunt
Violone, Voice-flute: Ruth Wilkinson
Organ: David Macfarlane
Director: Gary Ekkel
6:30am…Pied Butcher Bird Songcycle – NT
We set up camp off the beaten track & by a lake … somewhere in Central Northern Territory.
Early one morning we were visited by this remarkable Pied Butcherbird. He (?) perched somewhere above us & began this repeating but everchanging songcycle. It went for over 30 minutes.
Pied Butcherbirds have a captivating song-cycle … far more striking than other butcherbirds. However they don’t all sing the same song. The song-cycle of another Pied Butcherbird in Darwin can be found here for comparison.
I tried to photograph ‘my’ Pied Butcherbird …but it was just a featureless silouette on a high branch.
7am…Lakeside bird chorus etc – NT
As the morning progresses … so does the bird chorus of both land & water birds. Also … with increasing wind … you may also hear occasional branches squeaking & waves of rustling tree leaves.
My Composition … read by Jim Lawrence – March 2016
My Composition … 6.3 mins
Jim Lawrence, writer & storyteller presents a great & very funny rendition of his story … My Composition.
It took place in March 2016 at the Mornington Librarys quarterly ‘Live ‘n Local’ poetry & storytelling session.
Vale Jim Lawrence, a fabulous story teller, who passed away peacefully on April 6th 2018.
Great Street percussionist – Paul Guseli
Going home after a refugee ‘Let Them Stay’ demo … I came upon this fellow on the corner of Bourke & Swanston St (Melbourne Australia). He actually played an everchanging range of ‘drum kits’ as he worked his way through various subsets of the large assemblage of stuff on the footpath.
I never found any details about him as he just kept on playing! After about 25 minutes I had to leave … & he was still powerfully percussing.
Since then … I found his facebook page chalked on the footpath! If you’re in Melbourne … check out Pauls facebook page to find where he’s performing next.
Performer … Paul Guseli
Web … https://www.facebook.com/Lousy-with-mines-228150683927754/?fref=ts
Venue … Cnr Bourke & Swanston Sts Melb.
Time … evening,Thurs 4th Feb 2016
Showko + Etherial Offering to Ocean and Forest – 9th May 2014
In Box Hill Community Arts Centre on the 9th of May for Matsudo week 2014.
Presented by The Boite & supported by the Whitehorse City Council.
Here are a few highlights ( …. More to follow)
Showko & the human puppet (video)
A Highlight from the performance of acclaimed ventriliquist Showko.
Looking fo someone to take over her sushi restaurant … Showko picks a fellow from the audience who has
no idea what he’s just volunteered for.
RAIN now and then (audio)
Recording of Anne Norman wandering around the audience playing her solo shakuhachi piece “Rain Now and Then”
at the Boite performance of “Ethereal Offering to Ocean and Forest”.
Full details can be found here
Live @ Melbourne Didge Festival 2015
This Festival presents a diverse cross section of local & overseas performers.
Hosted by National Indigenous TV’s Leila Gurrawiwi … the grand-daughter of Djalu,
custodian of the Yidaki (Didgeridoo),from the Yolngu tribe of Nth East Arnhem Land.
A few highlights featuring …..
Rachel Rainbow Shields – song, guitar and story telling, a Gamilaroi woman from Nth West NSW
Gumaroy Newman – didgeridoo and poetry, his people from Gamilaroi & Wakka Wakka nations
Eric (Turtle) Tamywoy – Chant & Didgeridoo, Songman of Gamilaroi country in Nth West NSW
Anne Norman – Shakuhachi and poetry ( https://annenorman.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/song-of-sorry/ )
Jarrah Wadsworth – Images
Full details & audio tracks etc can be found here
John Matthews; aka ‘Johnnie Didge’ – (1941 – 2000)
This interview tells some of the life history of my brother John up to August 1990.
The original was recorded on an audio cassette.
Full details & audio track can be found here
‘Ranger John’ at W-Tree in far East Gippsland around 7 years after cassette interview
Bassidi Kone @ NMIT Fairfield campus
Bassidi Kone is a world renowned master Balaphon & Djembe musician who recently completed the Australian leg of a world tour … before returning to Mali.
This performance was a special guest artist appearance at NMIT’s 1st semester ‘Intercultural Music Concert’. Bassidi was backed by a small percussion group led by Simon Lewis. Simon is a long time student of Bassidi & other musicians in Guinea, Mali & Senegal … & now teaches West African Percussion at NMIT’s Fairfield campus in Melbourne as well as privately at MelbourneDjembe.
Full details & video can be found here
Who Killed Reza Barati? – forum 30thJune’14
Offshore processing on trial
Nichole Judge – Ex Manus Island worker
Daniel Webb – Human Rights Law Centre
Ian Rintoul – Refugee Action Coalition (NSW)
“The Department of Immigration directly ordered the PNG mobile squad dog unit to enter the compound as a “show of force”, over-ruling local G4S managers on the night of the attacks. The PNG mobile squad faces credible allegations of rape & murder in PNG. Seven days before the attacks deputy detention manager, John McCaffery, warned in an email that use of the mobile squad ‘could result in VSI (very serious injury) or death of protesters’.
The attacks on asylum seekers are blood on the governments hands.“
Welcome to this forum where Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott, Labour & the policy of offshore detention are put on public trial.
Full details & audio tracks can be found here
March in March – Melbourne 2014 ….. Mohammad Ali Baqiri
Here Mohammad passionately tells his story to a crowd of 30,000 in Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens.
Full details & video can be found here
Colin Offord plays his 24 year old Wedgetail eagle-feather flute … Aug 2012
This performance video track can now be found via the top menu under Video / Australia / Boite World Music Cafe – Index Page
Dome Dames – 11th Nov 2012
These performance video tracks can now be found via the top menu under Video / Australia /Dome Dames – 11th Nov 2012