Music will help build Indonesian garden 

Rebecca Harris with project manager, Keith Moore

Ambitious plans to create an Indonesian garden as an entertainment area on the Casuarina campus will take another step this month with a special fund-raising concert.

Music staff and students will combine to present Music for an Indonesian Garden at the CDU Theatre on October 28.

The concert will present ensembles and choirs providing a range of music, with a special guest appearance by the trio worldfly.

Funds raised will go towards the garden project, initiated two years ago by cello lecturer and music course coordinator Rebecca Harris.

For many years the paved area at the rear of the music building served as a reception area, its concrete vastness relieved by the banyan trees whose roots gradually encroached on the building’s foundations.

Early in its history the area had been the outdoor canteen for the old Darwin Community College, forerunner of CDU.

The banyan trees were removed in 2004 after fears the roots were undermining the buildings and the concrete areas dug up, leaving an unsightly wasteland.

Rebecca Harris and her colleagues came up with the idea of transforming the area into an Indonesian garden – an appropriate venue for concerts, especially for the local gamelan orchestra.

Between the idea and the execution, however, lies a mountain of paper-work in the form of grant applications, and extensive research into how the project can be achieved within a modest budget.

So far the project has received funding from the CDU Foundation to build the centre-piece of the garden – an Indonesian pendopo, a wooden pavilion that can serve as a stage.

Work has already begun on construction of the pendopo in Sulawesi by Indonesian craftsmen, and is expected to shipped to Darwin early in the New Year. It is hoped that the craftsmen will be permitted to assemble the pendopo in the CDU grounds.

Further funding needs to be found to complete the project, which will feature a variety of shady Indonesian and other tropical trees, much of the garden sourced through the efforts of horticultural students.

Engineering and design staff and students have already worked on the project, providing costings and outlining the most cost-efficient ways of completing the garden. Darwin businesses have already donated time and expertise to clear the site.

Driving the project is Keith Moore, CDU’s former manager of facilities, who has come out of retirement to take the role of project manager.

The October 28 concert is the first public fund-raiser for the Indonesian garden project.

On the program will be music for guitar, voice, flute and chamber music ensembles, with a special performance of Darwin composer Cathy Applegate’s Arafura.

Performers include guitarists Adrian Walter and Stephan Bulmer, pianist Chen Hui, flautist Janusz Kwasny, vocalist Kathy Banks and ensembles from the School of Creative Arts and Humanities.

Rock will meet classical in worldfly, a trio led by cellist Rebecca Harris. The group plays their own compositions, drawn from a variety of influences across the spectrum of the music world.

There will be pre-concert entertainment and food from Darwin’s Indonesian community. Tickets to the 7.30pm concert are $15, $10 and $3 children, available at the door or from Administration in Building 16.