Too Deadly – that’s one way to describe the Composing Songlinesshow I experienced in the Utzon Room at the Opera House on Sunday 5th of December.

Ensemble Offspring Composing Songlines

Composing Songlinesshowcased the compositions of five First Nations composers who’d taken part in the Ngarra-Burria composers program, performed by Ensemble Offspring. Ngarra-Burria, meaning ‘to listen, to sing’, is an important initiative for First Nations composers created by Dharug composer Christopher Sainsbury, who unfortunately wasn’t able to attend due to COVID restrictions. I was fortunate enough to take part in the first two years of this amazing program myself, working with other talented First Nations artists, with the iconic Ensemble Offspring performing our work. I know Christopher would’ve loved this show, having become well acquainted with the compositions during their development.

The breadth of the program performed by Ensemble Offspring really showcased not only the unique styles and arrangements of the compositions, but also gave a sense of the importance of storytelling for First Nations mob, so often expressed through our music.