Popular reception for station

DENMARK will have its very own local radio station next month thanks to the dedication of a group of people pushing the idea for nearly a decade.

The idea for Denmark FM 99.7 first came about in 2012 when local Matt Sivyer and former ABC chief Sue Howard rediscovered an old community survey, which stated the community was interested in having its own radio station.

However, life got in the way as it often does and the idea was put back on the shelf, until eight years later when the pair decided to see it through.

Once a home for the station was found at Denmark Community Resource Centre, it was all go from there.

“It will be more than just music,” Sivyer said.

“It’ll reflect Denmark. Denmark’s a pretty interesting place and it will be a celebration of the community by the sharing of stories and music.

“It’s a very positive project.”

Howard said a big benefit of having a Denmarkian radio station was that it could provide listeners with up-to-date localised information all the time, particularly during bushfire seasons.

“That sort of thing is really crucial for a town like this,” she said.

“People can get information in real time.”

The programming will include music from local musicians, the telling of community stories, news and localised special interest profiles.

If all goes to plan, Denmark FM will have its first test broadcast in late July and reach listeners throughout Denmark as far as Greens Pool, and halfway out of town towards Albany and Mount Barker.

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Historians document ‘antipodean arcadia’

ALBANY is the star of a new history book penned by local and international historians and scholars.

UWA Albany historians Malcolm Traill and Harry Freemantle were selected to compile and create Albany: an antipodean Arcadia for the Centre of WA History as part of the Studies in Western Australian History series.

The book is number 33 in the series and Mr Traill said it took the better part of 18 months to complete.

“It’s the first book on Albany in the series and we couldn’t resist the challenge,” he said.

The book highlights key elements of Albany’s history from the 19th and 20th centuries including the town’s whaling history, European and Indigenous relations, significant locations and people, sport and Albany’s first female prison officers.

On the contributors list is a range of Great Southern and South West scholars amidst some metropolitan and international authors such as Tim Blue, Sarah Drummond, Gwen Chessell, Ciaran Lynch, Denise Young, Amy Anderson, Jill Moir, Moira Maley, Miriam Crandell, Dawn Kennedy, Ainslie Gatt and award-winning novelist Kim Scott.

Mr Traill and Mr Freemantle agreed that creating the book was like helping to leave behind a legacy, for both the town and for the scholars.

“A number of these stories haven’t been told before or told before in this way,” Mr Freemantle said.

Albany: an antipodean Arcadia is available from the Centre for WA History online and by order from local bookstores.

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Sailing club jetty planks out to sea

ALBANY’s Princess Royal Sailing Club (PRSC) suffered thousands of dollars worth of damage to one of its jetties as remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Manga reaped havoc across the Great Southern this week.

When the Weekender visited the sailing club in the aftermath of the storm, big bunches of seaweed were drying out on the jetty planks as seafarers inspected damages to their vessels.

PRSC Facilities Director Harold Keay, who kept a close eye on the extreme weather event, said it was the worst storm he had seen for a few years.

Lashing winds tested the strength of boat moorings and rough seas flooded the jetty, resulting in about $15,000 to $20,000 worth of damage, according to Mr Keay.

“We assume all the planks are out in the ocean somewhere,” he said.

“Someone will probably find them washed up on the beach.”

Mr Keay said the sailing club would use the remnants of other jetties to restore the existing one back to a full bill of health.

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Artist resonates with the medium of sound

VISUAL artist Nat Rad gives her medium a whole new meaning by being influenced and recreating not only what she sees, but also what she hears.

Sound is a new area Rad has explored over recent years and has been at the centre of her artistic time spent in isolation.

Forever the creative mind, dating back to high school with interests in fashion, visual art and travel, Rad is constantly evolving her art style and traversing mediums like no other.

One of Rad’s latest group exhibitions Reservoir was an example of this.

“This exhibition was about water and my exhibited work combined sound, painting, lighting and of course water in an installation,” she said.

“[Sound] is a whole new area and I have much to learn about it but it seems to be influencing the way I consider painting.

“By this I mean I am choosing colours that resonate in a certain way and have begun to move and overlap the stencil layers to consider the vibration of the subject.”

Rad describes herself primarily as an oil painter and uses different painting techniques depending on what she wants to express, but always creates images with multiple layers of colour and texture.

She says she loves spending time with authentic, well-considered art and immersing herself in the inspiration that follows.

Rad hopes to create this pattern of thought for others with her own work.

With COVID-19 throwing her exhibition plans for the year in the bin, Rad has persevered and continued to create while juggling her busy medical receptionist job.

However isolation was not a foreign concept to her as it was something she frequently practised while creating.

Rad said time alone to create work is vital.

“For many years I have worked away from home in shared studio spaces which has allowed great collaborations to develop with other artists,” she said.

“However COVID-19 restrictions closed this space and to keep working I had to grab what I could and relocate to my home which was extremely disruptive.

“I feel that time will tell how this period will affect how and what I work on; art is a very slow process of accumulated ideas.”

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Livestreamed acts flood festival

ALBANY product Carla Geneve will perform alongside a line-up of Australian music royalty for this weekend’s SOTA Festival.

Renamed for 2020 to SOTAstream, the festival will be livestreamed on Facebook from 2-8pm on June 1 while musicians play from Freo.Social in Fremantle.

Geneve will share the stage with the likes of Abbe May, Drapht, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, Methyl Ethel, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets and San Cisco for the performance.

From rare Noongar language music and classic rock to feel-good pop, SOTAstream will be an array of music styles with something everyone can enjoy.

Doom pop award-winning songstress Abbe May is back to rock the digital stage with her soul-gospel-electro- blues style, including tunes from her forthcoming album Red Flag.

Four-time WAMI award-winner Geneve has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years, supporting the likes of Cold Chisel at their 2019 New Year’s Eve concert.

Get ready for her folk-rock sounds to shine as she performs her recently released Don’t Wanna Be Your Lover.

Hip-hop royalty Drapht is set to tear up SOTA for another year with his masterful lyrics and high energy beats.

The multi-ARIA award winning artist is performing off the back of a sold-out regional WA tour in mid-2019, and will be right at home performing to audiences statewide.

Incandescent vocals, guitar brilliance and a celebration of the Noongar language are the signatures of Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse.

Influenced by the four principles of Koort (Heart), Moort (Family and Community), Boodja (Land) and Koorlangka (Children and Legacy) SOTAstreamers will be treated to a performance they won’t forget.

Methyl Ethyl will bring the dreamy, pop-rock vibes to SOTAstream in 2020, fresh off the release of their latest EP Hurts to Laugh.

The band has had a great run after breakthrough hit Twilight Driving, with a string of successful albums, and several national and international tours to their name.

Since forming in 2015, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have gone wild selling out both of their national tours and supporting the likes of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, The Murlocs and Dune Rats.

Get ready for some party punk killer tracks when the band hit the Facebook stream this WA Day.

Indie pop darlings San Cisco will also bring their effortless sound and feel-good vibes to SOTAstream, following the successful release of their fourth EP Flaws in March, and cementing themselves as fan favourites with a place in Triple J Hottest 100 of the Decade.

The concert is free to watch and will be streamed online via Facebook, PerthNow and on RTRFM.

 

Photo: Jarrad Seng

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Alternatives explored for cancelled Art Trail

THE 2020 Southern Art and Craft Trail has been cancelled but participating artists may still have an opportunity to exhibit this year.

ArtSouthWA Chairperson Merry Robertson said the committee made the decision last week to completely cancel the event, rather than reschedule, and all members had agreed it was a good decision.

The organisation is now investigating an alternative including a social media campaign using the ArtSouthWA website, Facebook and Instagram to promote artists, art groups and galleries.

The campaign will continue until the end of 2020 and only be available to ArtSouthWA members.

“The initial concept includes an ‘Artist in Spotlight’ profile, and artworks for sale including pricing,” Ms Robertson said.

“Buyers would contact artists directly to arrange purchases.”

Next year’s event is expected to fall during its usual scheduled time of September and October.

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Families connect in unique showcase

A VIRTUAL dance concert featuring Denmark parents and their children will go live this weekend and people are encouraged to buy their tickets now to ensure they don’t miss out on the unique experience.

Created by Sandi Woo and presented by Annette Carmichael Projects, Because of You will showcase the connections between families in real time through the art of dance.

Local musician David Rastrick has created an original score for the performance and Carmichael said it’s so catchy, the kids have been humming it during rehearsals.

The unique element of Because of You is its venue – each performing pair will livestream their performance from their homes.

“It really is like no other performance you’ve seen,” Carmichael said.

“Can you imagine, six screens streaming simultaneously from the homes of Denmark families?

“It’s so real; you are watching dance happening live, spreading out across the community.

“At this time of isolation, it’s especially powerful.”

Marie Kerr is performing with her five-year-old Alyssa, with seven-year-old Zalia on-hand as the stage manager.

The Kerrs have set up their stage in the lounge room ahead of this weekend’s performance.

“Alyssa’s really been enjoying it,” Kerr said.

“Especially when she realised she could do a solo on-screen, that got her a bit more engaged!”

Carmichael said the children’s engagement with the virtual program had been fantastic.

“The kids are so comfortable with the format now,” she said.

“Many were shy to start with, and now they are making suggestions to the choreographer, Sandi Woo, telling their parents what to do and offering fantastic ideas.

“The parents tell us how much they are loving the chance to create with their children.”

A ticket costs $10 per household and must be purchased prior to the performance to give viewers access to the unique URL link.

Tickets can be bought here: http://annettecarmichael.com.au/because-of-you.html 

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Opera House comes alive in your home

THEATRE lovers never fear, for the Sydney Opera House is here – literally here, right in your own home.

The Sydney Opera House From Our House to Yours digital theatre season was launched at the start of the month and offers viewers a range of full-length performances and talks, never-before-seen footage, podcasts, articles and behind-the-scenes content from various companies, celebrities and shows.

The aim of such a program is to keep the spirit of Sydney Opera House alive and give people stuck in their homes a regular piece of theatre to enjoy.

Everyday, from Wednesday to Sunday new content is released on the Sydney Opera House website for people to stream.

The new weekly schedule is announced every Tuesday. Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron is passionate about bringing the arts to everyone.

“While we cannot welcome audiences to live performances in our venues, we are committed to offering the best in arts, culture and entertainment, as we have since opening in 1973,” she said.

“The difference is that, while the doors are closed, we will be doing it online – from our house to yours.

“I hope this new digital program from the Opera House, a national symbol of creativity, will connect, inspire and comfort people around the world during this challenging time.”

The first performance launched in the digital season was Missy Higgins’ 2019 Valentine’s Day show, followed by Dance Rites 2019 and Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven’s Ninth.

Last Friday saw the screening of The Wolf and Peter from CoisCeim Dance Theatre and an interview with culinary star Nigella Lawson.

To see this week’s schedule and view the digital season, visit sydneyoperahouse.com/digital/season

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Mills born for the stage

The Weekender continues this week to learn more about the colourful and creative people that comprise the Great Southern’s art and entertainment industry. Today, we focus on Plantagenet Players actor and writer Roxanne Mills.

JOINING a theatre group can be a big leap for some people; meeting new people, having the confidence to get on stage.

For new Mount Barker resident Roxanne Mills, there was no hesitation.

She jumped on the stage before her moving boxes were unpacked back in 2006.

“I am a boisterous person and I attached myself to my new work colleague – who I had only known for two days the first time I went to Plantagenet Players – and just slid right in without them knowing I was there, and then I took over,” Mills laughed.

“After moving from Kalgoorlie, I promised myself that when I moved to Mt Barker I would become a brave person and try things that scared me, and Players was the first opportunity I had.

“I remember the first time I was rehearsing singing on stage, I was petrified; I burst into tears. But with the support of everyone I got through the first show and after that you couldn’t keep me away from singing on stage.”

Over 13 years, Mills has performed in 12 shows as an actor, writer and producer.

She found a new family in the Plantagenet Players amateur theatre group and wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Currently, some of the group members are sewing laundry bags for local paramedics and nurses to help in the COVID-19 effort.

But don’t worry, Mills wants to reassure fans, COVID-19 isn’t stopping this theatre group from getting back into the groove.

“We will be back so look out,” she said.

“This is the first year I am told that Plantagenet Players may not be able to put on a show. Never in our history have we failed to put on a show.

“So have no fear, our energy levels and our penchant for silliness will return as soon as we can.”

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Porch photography project brings smiles

ALBANY photographer Brayden Thompson has brought the global trend of ‘porch photography’ to town and with it, a whole lot of smiles to peoples’ dials.

Thompson, operating as Brayden T Photography, was inspired by Perth shutterbug Lana Pratt who, like dozens of photographers across the world, have begun offering free porch photography sessions to families in social isolation lockdown.

The idea is simple – the photographer drives to the family house in question, the family sets themselves up on their front porch, verandah or lawn, and the photographer takes their photo.

Some families kept with traditional portrait style and others dressed up themselves and their front yards specifically for the shoot.

“The thing that interested me about it was that it was a way I could bring smiles to heaps of families’ faces in such a horrible time we are all experiencing,” Thompson said.

“People have lost their jobs, been cooped up inside for weeks, and it gives them something to look forward to, something to take their mind off everything that’s going on.”

Thompson started his porch project on April 2 and has since visited 125 houses.

“One of the most rewarding parts of the project would be definitely meeting so many families and getting to have a chat with them whilst practising social distancing,” he said.

“The other thing that I find really rewarding is when I post the images to my Facebook page; I just love seeing the number of people enjoying the images.

“Some people have told me that they just can’t wait for next week’s photos to be posted for them and everyone else to enjoy.

“I guess as there’s a lot of the same thing on social media at the moment, this is something that will lift people’s spirits when they see it.”

Thompson announced he will be collating the images he has taken to create the Porch Project Book.

Orders can be placed by emailing him at braydent7@hotmail.com

His photography can be viewed on Facebook @braydentphotography

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