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IAN BLAKE: Listen...

from The Umbagong Grooves

(Ian Blake)

From the CD Spirit of Place
The artwork for 'Spirit of Place' is by Simon von Wolkenstein, and yes, folks, he is related to the composer Oswald von Wolkenstein (1377-1445)
When you hear about 'the real Australia' they're usually talking about somewhere you aren't. The 'wide brown land' is all very well, but does suburbia (where most of us live) get a look in with all this ambient landscapy stuff? Not a lot... Here, in an effort to redress the balance, are The Umbagong Grooves. Umbagong, a stone axe in the Ngunnawal language, is the name given to the parkland around Ginninderra Creek in the western suburbs of Canberra, now inhabited by evening dogwalkers, kids on trailbikes and the occasional confused kangaroo. Down by the water are some axe-grinding grooves made some time before the suburb was a twinkle in a town planner's eye or a sheep put its pointy feet on the place. Now it's 'loused over' as D.H.Lawrence put it, 'with thousands of small, promiscuous bungalows'...

On this track I'm playing fujara (a Slovak flute that's about as tall as I am) a couple of bass clarinets, melodica, soprano sax, Egyptian tabla and various electrical appliances.