Crafting innovative places is often a journey of serendipitous discovery.
It is as if the DNA embedded in the cracks on the walls, the worn curves of the pavement, push their way to their rightful place returning and revealing the true form and function of the place.
As the notes and tones of the violin and didgeridoo danced to the ceiling in the Chapel of the Old Parramatta Goal such a crafted moment was created.
The ethereal music of Eric Avery and his father Graham Davis-King brought stories of people and place past to life.
The lullaby passed down through generations and sung in Indigenous language, aptly reflected the sanctity and sanctuary of this place of worship. The musical performance by father and son of the Ngampa people highlighted the seamless bond between people and between people and the land.
Parramatta Gaol now rests in the hands of the Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council following its closure in 2011. It was one of Australia’s oldest serving gaols with an array of sandstone and slate structures sprawled across the eastern side of the Parramatta River.
A walk through the grounds not only echoes the transformations in penal design over a 170-years but reverberates a patchwork of struggle, solitude and solace. The intricate colourful artwork that line the interior of one block butts up against the nothingness of the isolation cells. The warm rays of sun beaming through the stain glass windows crashes head on into the coldness of deprivation.
The traditional custodians of the land have commenced their journey of discovery to reimagine and repurpose the Gaol, to craft an innovative place from its timeless history. There is no doubt that music will be form part of the story of place.
Enjoy the music here: