Sounds of Australia brought to life

BY BRENDAN SMITH

The NFSA’s Sounds of Australia were brought to life in Cooee Cabaret, a fun, sing-along journey through the history of Australia’s iconic sounds and songs. 

Jimmy Willing and Davey Bob Ramsey performed as part of the Cooee Cabaret in Lismore. They sang an original song 'Singing Kate Kelly to Sleep’ and also the Saints’ classic '(I’m) Stranded’ from the sounds of Australia Registry.

 

Well, the Cooee tour wound up in Toowoomba with a bang – a sell out show at the University of Southern Queensland Artworx Theatre. It’s been a great two weeks, taking Cooee to communities in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland. Over a thousand people have been part of the Cooee magic in Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Boonah and Toowoomba. We’d like to thank our local performers – Sultrio, Alex and Annette Hood, Jimmy Willing, Davey Bob Ramsey, Linda Weston, the delightful Bernie Carson and Ben Terrell.

 

The comments below from Coffs Harbour audience member Josee Hennequin sums up the reactions we’ve had across the tour — everyone’s enjoyed their Cooee experience and loved getting to know a little more about the Sounds of Australia . Thanks Josee — we’ve loved sharing Cooee with all of you!

‘I saw the show whilst ushering in the morning, and loved it so much that I came back in the evening to see it again!… Honestly, it was just such a wonderful way to expose the community to the archives — it really brings it to life to combine archival film footage and recordings with a live stage performance. I loved that concept! I’m studying theatre/film/media studies, and was excited by what the NFSA created for this tour.

‘Also, my daughter and I went to the ACMI in Melbourne in January, and we absolutely loved it, but the level of interaction in Cooee Cabaret far surpassed the interactive experience of an exhibition…

‘By the way, we could all hear by the roaring laughter that the school kids attending the morning show loved it, but I’d like you to know that an elderly gentleman in the audience, with whom I am acquainted, told me that it brought a tear to his eye! The nostalgic experience must have been quite moving for those who grew up with some of the songs and images you portrayed.’

— Josee Hennequin, Audience Member, Cooee Cabaret, Coffs Harbour, February 2011