Inner West Independent

Can you feel the beat? It’s ridgey didge

Charlie McMahon will feature at Earthbeat / Photo: Jess Husband

What do you get when you cross a didgeridoo with a trombone? A didgeribone, of course. And it will be in action with its inventor, Charlie McMahon, at the Earthbeat world music festival on Sunday in Leichhardt’s Pioneers Memorial Park.

The festival, which began in 2011, is now a biannual event as part of the Leichhardt Council’s Sunset Series. This year, Earthbeat will feature Australian acts whose music is influenced and inspired by Australia’s multicultural identity.

Starting at the tender age of three, Mr McMahon has been playing the didgeridoo for almost 60 years. His music combines the ancient instrument with modern techniques to create a unique hybrid sound, and his band Gondwana will headline the Earthbeat festival.

In addition to the didgeribone, Mr McMahon will be playing the forked didgeridoo, which he calls “the love didg” because two people are needed to play the instrument.

“We’re using synthesisers, we’re using traditional didges, we’re using a didgeribone, and of course, the forked didg,” Mr McMahon said. “So it’s gonna be good, it should be a lot of fun. Maybe there’s a three or four year old out there who’ll get turned on.”

Earthbeat will also feature Baby et Lulu, a duo comprising Abby Dobson, former lead singer of Leonardo’s Bride and Lara Goodridge, a violinist from the acclaimed string quartet, FourPlay. The duo’s sultry set features classic French songs of the 20th century, along with a French version of Dobson’s hit “Even When I’m Sleeping”.

Award winning drumming group, TaikOz, will close the festival with one of their signature dramatic performances showcasing the Japanese drumming style of wadaiko. The group will also be run drumming workshops throughout the day, giving the public a chance to play the Japanese taiko drums used in TaikOz performances.

The Sunset Series events are “family friendly, designed to get the residents of Leichhardt outside and engaging with each other”, said event organiser Costa Atzemis.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic or purchase food from Norton St’s nearby outlets.

Earthbeat takes place Sunday, November 10, in Pioneers Memorial Park.

By Sophia Morris

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