Six choirs - from Europe, Scandinavia, North America, Britain, Australia and New Zealand - will depart from six different Australian locations - Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Broome, Cairns, and Brisbane - and travel deep into the heart of Australia.
They will sing as they travel, exploring remarkable places and people, with each choir under the leadership of a renowned musical director. In a unique place in the desert, all choirs will join together to sing with one voice in an extraordinary expression of human creativity.
SIX ROADS TO THE HEART
THE GREATEST SINGING PILGRIMAGE ON EARTH
- Australian winter 2021 -
Human beings yearn for ritual, something profound and deep that connects them to that most illusive of things - MEANING.
Whether it be secular, like Burning Man, or wacky like the Festival of the Steel Phallus in Japan, or religious like the Easter Procession.
An equally powerful human tradition is the pilgrimage in which people travel, sometimes through rough and challenging country, where that journey in itself is a kind of religious or contemplative observance.
A third instinct shared by all cultures is the need to make music together. It is at the core of the human experience, to stand together and sing with one voice, to lose the sense of being alone, whether in a cold church in Melbourne or, for reasons I've never understood except that rituals don't actually have to make sense, as an English rugby crowd belting out the chant of the American slaves -
Swing Low Sweet Chariot.
SIX ROADS TO THE HEART draws on all of these impulses - ritual, pilgrimage and singing - to create a festival with a deeply layered, cultural narrative. It is international in scope and universal in nature while offering an intimate personal experince of desert and place and Aboriginal people. Besides all that, it draws together a certain kind of assertive and confident baby boomer who wants to
BE THE EVENT,
not just attend one.
Each of the journeys into the heart of Australia will travel their own unique road, departing from different locations: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Broome, Cairns and Brisbane. All six routes are extraordinary journeys in themselves, exploring remarkable landscapes and visiting remote Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. Winter in the Australian desert is a beautiful time with cold nights, sunny days and with with snakes and spiders sound asleep. Each vehicle will carry swags and camping infrastructure so as to camp in
remote places, while staying in hotels/motels when they are availbable.
Choirs are comprised of people from six different regions - the British & Irish, the North Americans, the Scandinavians, the Europeans, the New Zealanders and the Australians . Each are accompanied by a wonderful choir director to lead the singing as they travel
towards the meeting place.
After almost two weeks on the road, having arrived in the heart of Australia, a three-day festival will be held in Alice Springs with joint singing rehearsals and workshops, as each choir shares their work, tells the story of their travels, and rehearses the core repertoire.
Then, on the final night, we head into the desert to create a wonderful musical moment to be shared with the people of Central Australia..
On each 4WD coach will be a section of ephemeral sculpture, with all parts symbolically and physically joined together to become a single work of art on our final performance night.
Included in the repertoire will be a composition written with the local indigenous people that showcases their uinique vocal tradition, performed with the SIX ROADS CHOIR, just once in a perfect place in the desert.
Ritual, Pilgrimage and Singing, all interaced into one extraordinary festival that redefines the possibilities of choirs and travel.
SIX ROADS TO THE HEART
SIX ROADS - SIX CHOIRS - ONE VOICE