The Rivers Sing

Opening at the TarraWarra Biennial 2021

Thu 11 March

The first outing of RISING’s large-scale, sonic celebration of the Birrarung and Maribyrnong rivers. Experience it first at TarraWarra Museum of Art.

Over two months, RISING’s monumental new sonic artwork, The Rivers Sing, will wind its way along the Birrarung and Maribyrnong rivers. To commence its maiden voyage, The Rivers Sing will make its debut at the TarraWarra Biennial 2021: Slow Moving Waters, curated by Nina Miall.

This major new RISING commission comes from acclaimed Yorta Yorta/Yuin composer and soprano Deborah Cheetham AO, with artists Thomas Supple and Byron J. Scullin. Its layering of river sounds and the voices of singers from the Victorian music community unites the urban environment, Country and the people who call them home.

The Rivers Sing is an evolving artwork, recomposed at several points on its journey to, and at, each sunrise and sunset during RISING. Experiencing it first at the TarraWarra Biennial 2021 will be a one-off opportunity. Positioned at seven sites throughout the grounds of the TarraWarra Museum of Art, specially designed, cutting-edge speakers will emanate the first iteration of the work before it continues to build, on its journey to RISING.

The TarraWarra Biennial 2021’s title, Slow Moving Waters, comes from the translation of the local Woiwurrung word ‘tarrawarra’, after which the museum, and its surrounding Yarra Valley area are named. For the museum’s 7th biennial, 25 artists from across the country have created new work exploring ideas of slowness, deceleration, drift and the elasticity of time.

The Rivers Sing begins its journey at sunset at the TarraWarra Museum of Art on 27 and 28 March, for which the museum will extend its opening hours to 7pm. The TarraWarra Biennial 2021, Slow Moving Waters, runs from 27 March—11 July 2021.

“The Rivers Sing seeks to reframe our relationship with the two major rivers that pass through Melbourne … Deborah Cheetham is the source of inspiration. Beginning with her own connection to our waterways, combined with language and knowledge granted by Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung Elders, the work seeks to embody ideas found in the ongoing connection between water, Country and people.”

— Byron J Scullin

Dates and tickets:
27 & 28 March
TarraWarra Museum of Art extended opening hours: 11AM to 7PM.
The Rivers Sing is presented at sunset.

Admission: $10 Adults; $8 Seniors; $5 Concession and Students; Museum Members and children under 12 free.

Tickets will be on sale Monday 22 March 2021 at 9am.

TarraWarra Museum of Art
313 Healesville-Yarra Glen Rd
VIC 3777

The Rivers Sing is a RISING commission, supported by the Besen Family Foundation and the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative.

Photo credit: Kristoffer Paulsen

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