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Dandry Gorge

by Splinter Orchestra

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Dandry Flow 41:36


In October 2018 Splinter travelled to The Pilliga, Gamilaraay country, to explore, listen, learn and record, in a period of intense drought.

We were first inspired to travel there following a trip Adam and Jim made to the area — they were stunned by its rich avian sonoverse and troubled by the proximity of the proposed Narrabri Gas Project, which could see up to 850 coal seam gas wells drilled into this ancient landscape.

Splinter spent five days and nights on the edge of The Pilliga Nature Reserve, mostly playing in and around our base at Eagle Valley; in gullies, over creek beds, in vast fields and splayed across rocky walls. We took a tour of the Sandstone Caves with Gamilaraay artist and ranger Brett Ashby who welcomed us to play as the sun set.

'Dandry Flow': on a windy day, Splinter flowed from east to west — right to left in the stereo spectrum — down the dry bed. Two trees rubbed against each other and we used contact mics to capture their voicings. A few of us hid several other recording devices over a large area of the gorge. This recording is a stereo mix of ten separate tracks.

'Two Trees' (bonus track) is what happened once we’d moved down the river, distant enough not to be heard. Just at the end, as we return to switch off recording devices, you hear our human presence.


released May 25, 2020

Rhys Mottley - bass clarinet, Romy Caen - synth, Adam Gottlieb - trees, Melanie Eden - vocals, Jim Denley – bamboo flute and branches, Max Alduca - didge and double bass, Laura Altman - clarinet, Peter Farrar - junk percussion, Nick Ashwood - acoustic guitar/amp feedback, Alexandra Spence - electronics and clarinet, Solomon Frank - prepared clarinet and smoke detectors, Bárbara Guzmán Galeb - voice, Andrew Fedorovitch - little instruments, Joseph Derrick - trumpet, Melanie Herbert - violin, Clara Pitt - flute, Bonnie Stewart - percussion, Weizen Ho - movement and little instruments, Drew Bourgeois - in spirit.

Recorded on October 6 2018 at Dandry Gorge The Pilliga, by Splinter. Mixed by Jim Denley at Kaloola. Produced by Splinter Orchestra.
Images by Bárbara Guzmán Galeb.

Thanks to Nature Strip (naturestrip.com) for their generous funding to make this recording possible. Thanks also to Amy Putt and Jeremy Hegge.

Field recordist Jeremy Hegge joined us on the trip and captured some incredible sounds during this week. All proceeds from his album "Drought in the Pilliga" go to the Wilderness Society.

Here is the documentary component of a video installation made for Splinter Magic 2019 entitled "One Night at The Pilliga" by Bárbara Guzmán Galeb



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caterpillar Sydney, Australia

Caterpillar is a digital sub-label of Splitrec. A platform for releases by Sydney-based artists and collaborators affiliated with Splinter Orchestra.

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