Thursday3 November, 2011

peter_lowsonblog3sarah2010 MiCN Award winner Peter Lowson has been working with Indigenous Youth and Adult education programs since 1983. In 2004 he started Drum Atweme, initially as a means of encourage school attendance. Although primarily Afro-Cuban and Brazilian influenced, the rhythms are worked around the songs and stories of the indigenous participants’ culture. The program has transformed the lives of countless Alice Springs town camp-based children. 

Peter has been our MiCN Mentor blogging for us this month but this week we hear from someone else...

One of the drummers from our group is this week's reporter! Her name is Sarah...

Hi. My name is Sarah and I am 14 years old this month. The native languages I speak are Luritja, Walpiri and Arrernte. I have been playing drums since I was 8 years old. With Drum Atweme I have been to Melbourne, Adelaide and Uluru. I like going on trips because I like visiting other schools and making new friends. Seeing new places gives me good experiences. My favourite bush foods are bush banana, honey ants and witchetty grub.

Music is fun to make. At a workshop in Adelaide for the WOMADELAIDE Festival I played with African drummer Sekou Kieta and also with the Bedoin Jerry Can Band from Egypt. I had never seen that many people before. It was a bit scary at first but everyone was really nice. I told my teacher that I would like to just travel around with Drum Atweme for whole year and visit lots of schools and new places.

We have been very busy this year playing everywhere. We got to perform for Prime Minister Julia Gillard with the Sowetto Choir. They were beautiful singers and their drummer taught us some new rhythms. I would like to learn to sing just like them. We met the horse lady Gai Waterhouse and performed for her. And we also played for Monique Coleman the actress from High School Musical . So it has been lots of fun.

In October we went to the Tanami MobFest and camped there. It was held 200kms North of Alice Springs at the Ti Tree school. Many kids from bush communities schools come to participate and perform. We do lots of different workshops, like dance, singing, hip hop and playing on really strange instruments that this man builds. We also get to see traditional song and dance by the women and men.

Bye from Sarah!

Don't forget to Drum Atweme (hit the drum)!!

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Sarah (second from left) and friends.

Photographs by Charlie Lowson