edited by Vincent Plush, Huib Schippers, and Jocelyn Wolfe

Encounters - Meetings in Australian music: Essays, images, interviews


Encounters traces a 200-year span of musical meetings between European and Indigenous Australians, their ideas, music and other dimensions of their cultures. Looking back, there can be little argument that this journey has been far from harmonious. From today’s perspective, there is ample evidence of dubious approaches to this exchange, ranging from a lack of understanding to appropriation of varying degrees of wilfulness to downright racism.

This publication does not aim to gloss over these things, but invites open debate between anyone who is interested to contribute in a constructive light. To Indigenous people, a platform for bringing these issues into the open provides ‘a right of reply’. To more recent arrivals, it gives ample material for reflection on issues pertaining to themes of celebration, appropriation and musical identity.

In this book, these complexities are addressed in an intriguing mix of articles ranging from the very personal in tone to scholarly investigations. As papers, interviews, timelines and illustrations, they bring home the range of approaches from which these meetings-in-music have sprung over the past two centuries, and point towards constructive ways forward.