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This kit created with support of
Santa Sabina College and
Ensemble Offspring, for the 2021

Santa Sabina "Australian Music Day".

Visiting Eucalyptus

EDUCATION KIT

In 2017-18 Damian Barbeler travelled 

South East Australia photographing Eucalyptus

trees as inspiration for a collection of musical

and visual art works including a new concert

work entitled - Visiting Eucalyptus

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Live Workshop - October 2021

Visiting Eucalyptus - Education Kit

Damian Barbeler © 2021

Inspiration

Eucalyptus trees are a startlingly diverse family. The Artistic Vision for Visiting Eucalyptus was to highlight this diversity and celebrate this most famous Australian tree.

When we think of the Australian bush, we often fall on stereotype imagery. However the Australian bush is far more rich and varied. Visiting Eucalyptus then, was an invitation to fall in love with the true Australian landscape.

Visiting Eucalyptus - Education Kit

Damian Barbeler © 2021

Meeting Eucalyptus Trees

Gathering inspiration involved travelling around Australia's east coast "visiting" Eucalyptus trees: photographing, filming, sketching and composing on location: as painters would call it "en plein air" (in the open air).

From this experience Damian Barbeler and Tim Jetis created a collection of artworks:

a musical concert work, photographic installation, an art film and book.

Visiting Eucalyptus - Education Kit

Damian Barbeler © 2021

Artistic Vision

The Visiting Eucalyptus concert work structure is essentially a series of "forests in Sound". The listener is invited to imagine passing through a Eucalyptus forest. Paper sketches (on the left) capture Barbeler's first thoughts on this idea.

Barbeler was partly influenced in this musical design by the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. Many of his works depict the passage of a person through a landscape. A beautiful example is the 1998 work Tree Line.

The 18 minute concert work Visiting Eucalyptus is for violin, cello, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, classical accordion, piano and 2 percussion. It was premiered at the Four Winds 2018 Easter Festival. The work was premiered in the bush near Bermagui on the south coast of NSW in the Four Winds "Sound Shell".

Visiting Eucalyptus - Education Kit

Damian Barbeler © 2021

Composing a Forest

To compose forests in sound Barbeler layers short motives to create textures. In one case the botanical names of gum trees are set to simple rising arpeggios. Performers must use the names as speech patterns to inform their interpretation of the motives.

Click excerpt below to hear these gum trees in Visiting Eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus Names Excerpt