Yamatji Man - walking in two worlds
Mark Atkins, didge/narrator; Craig Walters, saxophone; Romano Crivici, piano/director; Rudi Crivici, viola; Jess Ciampa, percussion; Philip South, percussion
Romano Crivici Mark Atkins
Romano Crivici mark atkins

The very first time Mark and Romano improvised together; (and it has stayed at that level of creative intensity!)

Yamatji Man - Walking in two Worlds  is a major multi-media performance project in creative development, based on the life story of one of Australia’s greatest living exponents of the didjeridu, Mark Atkins.

Scored for a line-up of seven performers, the work is a collaborative project between Mark Atkins and Romano Crivici, which has been made possible by support from the Australia Council’s Indigenous Music Theatre Initiative.

Both Mark and Romano feel very strongly about this work, not only on a musical and creative level, but also as a political and spiritual statement; exploring wider aspects of Australia’s conflicted history through the narrative of Mark’s life journey. The work reaches a high point of musical and psychic resolution, as it reveals something of the power of an individual, who, in pursuit of a vision, transforms and transcends the various limitations of his early life, to create a unique and successful performing career.

The six musicians give support to amplify the core of the work, which is Mark’s ongoing narrative; spoken, sung and projected text, images of his powerful paintings as well as his musical performance.

A long time in the planning, Yamatji Man has finally started to take shape after a number of periods in retreat, up on the mountain at Marks property at Dungowan (45 km’s out ofTamworth) where, in the isolation of the high country they spent time musing, sharing and workshop their ideas.

“Working separately, at times we came together to look, listen and share; our creative ideas bouncing off, and inspiring each other….   While Mark was working on his vision, or feeling/sense of “Mountain’, (one of eleven or so movements in the overall work) I was ‘painting’ mine in sound.  Then we moved onto “Creative Drive” (another movement in the cycle…. And so it went!”

 

The long term creative working relationship between Mark and Romano (almost 20 years) demonstrates something of the ways in which these two creative artists have, in crossing various cultural boundaries, come to contribute to redefining what is possible in contemporary Australian culture.