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June 11th

We may take a few days to get the stories rolling. A change in Photographer, and Graham is still finding his feet, checking out what’s happening on site.

It would appear that Ray, Jacqui and Rod after wearing their fingers to the bone on these crazy slate slabs… They’re in the process of mixing and applying the final grouting. Maybe – more info tomorrow, as the holiday weekend may have slowed everybody down.

June 13th

It has become apparent that we’re having communication difficulties from the Farina site, so it could be a few days before we can resume reporting. Let’s hope that some of the problem is being caused by rain!

June 16th

Today we’re joined by Leone Kerly. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, Graham was unable to post copy, so we had a few days of utter silence from site!

Initially we have a range of images from Leone, with (we hope) text to follow them. So the images and captions are being loaded today and many more will follow over the next few days!

Monday 18 June

After a rush trip to the Leigh Creek Medical Centre today, for a tetanus injection and treatment fora dog bite, it’s time for my first report.
There are currently three bakers on site, Rob, Dennis Rockley and Tracey McIntosh who arrived a little early. Takings from the bakery today (Monday) were $1270, merchandise $350 and $30 donations.

Takings are down today compared with the weekend and Friday’s takings $1490, merchandise $479 and 102.50 donations. The cricket match cleared $1761. One of the fridges has broken down and goods are being stored in Tom’s Shed making it a little inconvenient for the bakers. On the up side, a visitor to Farina was able to tell exactly what part and number was required, the part has been ordered and should arrive on Wednesday.

Five volunteers have been working on the repointing of the Post Office today with three walls completed.

Patterson’s house is progressing nicely with Graham finishing the roof today and awaiting the delivery of the box gutter which was delivered but was incorrect. Inside, the ceiling lining is being installed, but unfortunately the work crew is down from last week. Steve reports that the under building plumbing is well advanced. The slate laying continues but slowly, with 2 metres progress today.

The gantries have been painted with more found which will be done asap. There is a big team painting signs/boards in Tom’s Shed.

Defibrulator training at the 5.30pm camp meeting gave volunteers an oversight in how to use the defibrulator which will now be kept in the camp laundry for easier access and overnight access. Rob Ball, an Adnyamathanha man, gave a brief history of early Farina and his ancestors’ arrival in the area.

As a first time volunteer, I’m in awe of the camaraderie between the volunteers and their willingness to help wherever they’re needed on site. They all give the visitors to Farina a friendly welcome and in return I see a real respect from the visitors for the volunteers and the work they do.

It really is a happy work place.

Tuesday 19 June

Minus 1 degree greeted us this morning with ice on the bonnet of the ute and frozen clothing hanging on the line so I have declared it officially cold! Having been up at 5 every morning, I decided to have a sleep in after my dog bite episode and missed the first spectacular sunrise of our stay.

By 9am Farina was awash with tourists with the cafe busy again and the tourists eager to see the bakery and learn about the Farina restoration project.

Nola was again in Tom’s Shed painting signs with John Urry making more of the popular serviette holders. They consist of a square of timber with a black painted dog spike attached to the timber to hold the serviette. Most ingenious.

The septic tank has been delivered and awaits installation. The wrong cladding was delivered for Patterson’s house so there is another wait for delivery. Bill and Graham W continue working on the outside of Patterson’s House installing the plumbing. Steve Bennett has been taking levels on the verandah for the installation of the handrail.

The fridge compressor has been taken to Hawker for repairs.

More gantries painted today.

Inside Patterson’s house there is an aerial crew and a ground crew. Unfortunately there is a shortage of volunteers in the house so Jeffrey Forrest and Dave Timms continue with one up, one down.

The crew is installing the timber ceiling which is looking spectacular! The fireplace is in, the timber doors and windows look great.

Doug McNaughton and John Toogood are oiling the information pergola at the Railway station. John has a new toy – a drone which he is using photograph Farina from the air.

Re-pointing at the Post Office continues.

Wednesday 20 June and Thursday 21 June

Cold again this morning which is to be expected, it is winter after all. The days are clear and warm, a balmy 22 degrees.

A tour group,’ Fun Over Fifty’ arrived today. A brief inspection of the underground bakery, coffee and afternoon tea at the cafe and a bus tour of highlights at Farina culminated with the presentation of a cheque for $200 to Bob.

Jesse Budel, Dr Vanessa Tomlinson and Joshua Baldwin also arrived at Farina this morning, to prepare for their performances on Friday night. Jesse is a composer/performer, sound artist, curator and arts entrepreneur based in Adelaide. Vanessa is Associate Professor, Griffiths University Conservatorium, Queensland; head of percussion and post graduate studies; a percussionist of international standing and originally from Adelaide. Josh is a renowned jazz drummer and artist.

A quick chat in the café and it was preparation time for them. They spent considerable time searching the Farina environs for ‘found objects’ to use in their percussion and sound performances on Friday night.

The oiling of the gantries is now complete. John and Doug have put in an extraordinary effort in some cool and breezy weather. The painting of the finger boards is almost complete, another mammoth effort, and they will be returned to their rightful places on Friday. There is now an aerial crew of three in Patterson’s House, ceiling will be completed this week and then moving onto the second stage of the house.

Wednesday night is usually roast dinner night but with the absence of Anne and Kevin Dawes, it was the bakers who stepped up and spent the afternoon making pizzas. Nola Buttfield whipped up chocolate self-saucing pudding and bread and butter pudding for dessert. Nola your efforts on site are very much appreciated. I call her the Ever Ready Bunny – she just never stops!

Thursday bakery takings were $1267.50, merchandise $243 and donations 128.30. Deb and John, first time team leaders leave on Friday, to be replaced by Tim and Leanne Payne. Deb and John had the team working smoothly and their professionalism and friendship was appreciated by the group.

Several of our group have volunteered to be part of Friday night’s performance with their first practice on Wednesday night. This project by Jesse has been in the making for two years. The performance will be in full surround sound and will show how sounds have changed over the years and how weather and technology has changed the environment of Farina since 1874. It tracks how sounds change through weather and the ebb and flow of human sounds, the sounds from the bakery, blacksmithing, the school, the churches, the hotels and native and exotic bird and animal life.

The sound speakers will be set in a square indicating the streets of Farina with each ‘musician’ performing at one of the stations (each has a 44 gallon drum). Guests will be free to move within the space but will be requested not to speak throughout the performance. Each year of Farina’s existence will be represented by 10 seconds. The performance will last 24 minutes and completion is planned to coincide with the setting of the sun.

Wednesday night practice was fun. Blowing into bottles to make them sing, whistle or hum was interesting; surprisingly difficult for some. The ‘found objects’ included horse shoes, an old stock pot, a hub cap, an old wood stove, bottles, dog spikes, corrugated iron, old metal and a fork. Thursday night dress rehearsal indicates we have a hit on our hands.

June 21st Getting ready for the Jesse Budel Concert

Friday 22 June

5pm and complete silence at Tom’s shed. The audience is keen to be involved and walk or stand silently within the square. The sound, pre-recorded by Jesse commences and the percussion by the ‘musicians’ begins. 24 minutes of goose bumps from the eerie sounds of wind howling, train, planes and birds and the sounds of the found objects being tapped, hit, banged and stroked, reaching a crescendo and then ebbing to peacefulness and it was all over, coinciding with the setting of the sun.

The audience was invited into Tom’s Shed for a percussion performance with found objects by Vanessa. Josh showed how old drums found on the station can be used to make music and Jesse finished the evening with a song.

My last day as photographer on site. We’ve loved our time at Farina and will definitely be back again. Welcome to Melanie Sjoberg as photographer for the next two weeks.

What an experience!

Information provided by Jesse:

The concert involved a surround sound setup, that, after previous discussions, was set up in Tom’s Shed for rehearsals and also for the concert.

The performance took place within the surround speaker setup (an octophonic, double diamond setup).

Re. this new piece…

The piece explored the changes in Farina’s soundscape and ecosystem over the past 140 years.

The performers were playing on found objects from the local environment. Everyone learned how to play these objects in the workshops over the days preceding the concert.

The performers were using text-scores, providing information on what to play, and when (referencing a digital clock). These instructions were very accessible for the community musicians, and slightly more complex for the professional percussionists!

I also was pleased that the concert was able to feature some of my other surround sound environmental works (also tied in with my PhD, and making the most of the speakers being brought all the way up), as well as some short solo performances by myself, Vanessa and Joshua.

Please note:- Our reporters this year were selected from volunteers who responded to our request for capable people who were willing to report our activities during a one or two week period within the eight weeks that restoration operations were in progress.
Their images and text record many of our activities – whether triumphs or disasters – and all are reported from the current reporter’s point of view.