A Festival Of Underground, Experimental & International Music
April 2021
More Information Coming Soon

Counterflows: Tasmania



See-Saw Majory Daw – day 3 & 4

Photo of a music duo called Yirinda.  With a didgeridoo player in the foreground and double bass player in the background in an outdoor setting


At last I arrive in Tasmania. The view as we come in to port is great. Not to get too ridiculous it was kind of good to take this long to sail over. There is a sense of getting somewhere., although the Spirit of Tasmania isn’t something you want to do every day it was definitely something. The Bass Strait was a little disappointing  in its calmness but probably just as well.

Tim meets me off the Ferry and we head to Launceston. Dusk is turning to twilight as we drive off along the first Tasmania road and I scour the tarmac for the legendary roadkill or better still actually see some early evening marsupial activity. half- way along the road we see a ringed tailed possom scurry across in front of us. We reach Launceston as night draws down.

Day 1 at Mona Foma begins with a trip up to Cataract Gorge which is an amazingly beautiful area just outside Launceston. On further reading it turns out that the gorge was a spiritual ground of native Tasmanians. Now there is a very incongruous 1970’s look about the place with brilliant shiny swimming pool. The place is still beautiful. and as we stumble over the suspending bridge there is a feeling that this is Tasmania. We are in search of the Fairy dell where Yirinda are playing. Yirinda are a duo of Fred Leone and Sam Parkhurst (Sam turns out to be a friend of Tara Pattenden). The setting is amazing and it sounds great in amongst nature. I also am lucky to see a Laughing kookaburra lingering in a gum tree next to the performance.

A picture of Pivot a musical seesaw.  It looks like a seesaw and has a yellow base

Pivot by Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey

Off to the site next and a wander around the stages before anyone arrives. Tim gets me accredited as a staff member so that I can help them (well sort of) and be on site. 

Tim and Madeleine’s see-saws look totally splendid all out in their glory. They are a great play on simple everyday childhood plaything and sophisticated engineering and art. And of course everyone readily engages with them. It is a see-saw after all. 

I head up to town to look for bookshops and then join the fun again at the opening of the festival at 5pm.

Friday night I see Julia Holter, Les Filles De Illighadad (I catch up with them, still smiling and utterly brilliant), Oneohtrix Point Never and not much Australian music but that’s to come. We are tired out from travelling so skip the late night stuff where Robin Fox is doing his thing.