Thursday 17 November, 2011

peter_lowson2010 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...

blog41Here's another story from a Drum Atweme performer...

Hi, my name is Alexis and I am 13 years old. I’m from Ti Tree which is the birth place of my great great grandmother. Ti Tree is 200 kilometres North of Alice Springs and a very wonderful place. I speak Walpiri Arrernte language and English. I understand a little bit of Luritja and have very cool friends teaching me.

I joined Drum Atweme early 2010 and have had wonderful experiences like going to Uluru and playing in the desert festival. Me and my sister did a play called Bamba and the Big Tree and in March we are going away to Melbourne.

Practising for 'Bamba and the Big Tree'.
From left to right: Alexis, Mikalya and Ella, Alexis' sister.

I am very proud to be in Drum Atwene because I get to mentor little kids and older ones too. It’s never too late to do music. I am a singer as well and I’m very good. All the people I hang around want to join Drum Atweme. I tell them to come on down and then they can get away from the violence.

I treat the Drum Atweme kids like my little sisters. I am very proud to be a part of this life changing event. I would like to thank Peter Lowson for making this all happen and letting us see Australia and to make music in our lives.



The performers from Bamba and The Big Tree (Alexis top left)

Photographs by Charlie Lowson