Warrma Piipa Message Stick

Renowned First Nations musician and the world’s foremost didgeridoo virtuoso, William Barton, has embarked on a remarkable collaboration with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO). Together, they are spearheading an ambitious new initiative that seeks to nurture the next generation of storytellers and songsmiths, inviting them to join in crafting a harmonious ode to the land.

Titled “Warrma piipa ngatji patija; kutu patija; ngata waru” (translated as “Songbook: My Story; Your Story; Our Journey”), this multi-year endeavor commenced in the heart of William Barton’s ancestral homeland, Mount Isa/Kalkadoon, with a sacred Ceremony marking the beginning of this unique partnership with QSO. Over the course of this journey, William Barton and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra will traverse various communities, including Cairns/Yarrabah, Rockhampton/Woorabinda, Gold Coast/Yugambeh, Charleville/Bidjara, finishing in Mount Isa/Kalkadoon.

The visionary concept of this venture was brought to life through a collaboration with Biren Consultancy, tasked with designing and crafting a contemporary message stick. This innovative message stick was intended to accompany William and the QSO team throughout their travels, symbolizing the interconnectedness of their journey.

To bring this modern message stick to fruition, our dedicated team engaged in a series of design and production meetings in house and with Biren Consultancy. With beautiful native Australian Spotted Gum timber as the primary material, we adorned the message stick with laser-etched Indigenous artwork, logos, and text, honouring the rich cultural heritage of the endeavor. To secure the USB drive and GPS tracking device, recessed cavities were carefully integrated into the message stick, topped with a secure plate to guarantee their safe passage.

The message stick incorporated state-of-the-art technology, featuring a GPS tracking device that allowed online monitoring of the message stick’s progress. Furthermore, it housed a USB drive designed to store footage and music from each event, ensuring that the rich tapestry of experiences and expressions could be shared with each new community along the way.

For a deeper insight into this visionary project, please follow the link provided: :https://qso.com.au/about/warrma-piipa

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