Didgeridoo delight at Karijini Experience

Sophia ConstantinePilbara News
VideoThe Karijini Experience was hosted by Nintirri Centre in Karijini National Park from April 11 to 15

Australian Aboriginal storyteller, songwriter, composer, painter and musician Mark Atkins will return to the 2018 Karijini Experience to delight audiences with his prowess on the didgeridoo.

The six-day experience, held from April 17-22, invites visitors to immerse themselves in the unspoiled nature of Karijini and enjoy a packed schedule of cultural, culinary and family events.

Atkins has spent the past 30 years travelling overseas as a mentor, sharing stories about country, land, and his people through music.

He picked up the didgeridoo at age 13, but didn’t think too much of it. “In my earlier days, I was a rock‘n’roll drummer,” he said.

“I learned so much... it was a journey.

“It wasn’t really until my late-20s when I picked up the didgeridoo again with an uncle who taught me.

“I left it for a couple of years and came back to it again.”

Atkins took out top gong at the 1990 Golden Didjeridu competition and has worked with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, among others.

He said his musical career had opened up a whole new world and provided him with opportunities to meet inspiring people.

“I’ve done a big turnaround in my life and have come back to write about what I want to do,” he said.

Atkins said the Karijini Experience was more than just going out and performing.

“It’s the coming together of all these people who are like-minded,” he said.

“I played there last year, I loved it.

“I love that part of the country and the inspiration I draw from it.

“I’m going back with my nephew ... he’s going to play with me as well.

“I look forward to catching up with some mob and some old mates.”

The Karijini experience, now in its sixth year, has continued to be a tourism drawcard for the Pilbara, combining the growing recognition of the authenticity of its Aboriginal cultural content and a sense of community.

Joining Atkins at this year’s event are a number of headline music acts including singers Gina Williams and Archie Roach.

Highlights of the festival include makers’ markets and artists in residence, the Karijini Kids’ Zone, gorge walks and bush culture walks, Aboriginal chef and television celebrity Mark Olive, and culinary expert Paul Iskov.

Last year’s event attracted 1235 visitors and featured 90 artists.

For tickets, visit the Karijini Experience website and visitors can register for free events.

See karijiniexperience.com for details.

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