2016 Archive


a series of five concerts staged inside Darwin’s historic

WWII Oil Storage Tunnels … August 16th to 20th 2016

“…with its haunting acoustics, the uniqueness of an amazingly beautiful
concert … inside the
Darwin WWII Oil Storage tunnels,
could not be replicated anywhere else in the world … breathtaking!
” – audience review, 2015
“It was the best thing I’ve heard in ten years, it was a sensory thing … we didn’t have to use our eyes.
Awesome is all I can say. It will blow your inner world.”
– Chryss Carr,
talking about Concert #3, 2016 … Yolngu Songmen and West Papuan songs with shakuhachi and whirlies.


CD of the 2016 concertsUP FROM THE DEEP is available. Order a copy here. Don your headphones & enter the tunnel ambience with us. (Demo video clip on Resources page)

Physical CDs also now available through
Readings Carlton — 309 Lygon St, Carlton, Victoria, 3053
03 9347 6633, customerservice@readings.com.au

August 16: Underground Flute
Sonic meditations, Anne Norman on shakuhachi
(also featuring other artists from the concert series)

August 17: Stringlines
Anja Tait (violin), Netanela Mizrahi (viola) and Ernie Gruner (violin, viola)

August 18: Song of the Land: Song of the People
Yolngu songmen: Jason Guwanbal Gurruwiwi and Guyundula Burarrwanga & West Papuan singer: Henk Rumbewas

August 19: Sacred Sound Journey
Sarah Hopkins – cello, harmonic voice, whirlies, bells

August 20: Deep within the Belly
Incorporating collaborations of the artists from all the previous concerts)

Anne Norman ….………………………….. Shakuhachi: Melbourne
Anja Tait …………………………………… violin: Darwin
Netanela Mizrahi …………………………. violin/viola: Darwin
Ernie Gruner ………………………………. violin/viola: Melbourne
Jason Guwanbal Gurruwiwi …………… Manikay Songman: Nhulunbuy
Sebastian Guyundula BurarrwangaManikay Songman: Nhulunbuy
Henk Rumbewas …………………………. West Papuan Song and Dance: Darwin
Sarah Hopkins …………………………….. cello / whirlies / bells: Brisbane


Tunnel Number Five 2016 was generously sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts, making it possible to pay the above artists and cover the travel expenses of interstate personnel. For more details on our sponsors, see: https://tunnelnumberfive.com/sponsors/


About the concerts

August 16: Underground Flute: A slow unfolding of spell-binding bamboo flute meditations on shakuhachi by Anne Norman. A gentle journey made up of contemporary works with simultaneous vocals, traditional Zen meditations from Japan, and guest appearances of artists from the next 4 concerts, giving audiences a taste of what is to come. “…like birdsong, but not; like wind, but not; like no other sound… It was as if she could lure pixels of sound… and whip them into line with the control of her breath; the organizer of dust from all time, of light, of being in tune.” – The Mercury 22.11.14

August 17: Stringlines: A web of sounds and voices, questions and answers, are untangled, rewoven and spoken by the tunnels of Darwin’s past. Local musicians, writers and researchers tell the stories of the tunnels in music, images and words; sourced and remixed from Territory knowledge accessed at the Northern Territory Library. Darwin String improvisers Anja Tait and Netanela Mizrahi are joined by Melbourne virtuosi of improvised violin and viola, Ernie Gruner, to bring the tunnel tunefully alive.

August 18: Song of the Land: Song of the People – The tunnel will resound with lively songs of great depth and beauty from two Yolngu songmen – Jason Guwanbal Gurruwiwi and Guyundula Burarrwanga, and a talented singer from West Papua – Henk Rumbewas . From Arnhem Land, we hear songs traditionally performed in Bungul ceremonies – songs that play an important role in the life cycles of the people and the environment; songs about love; and songs simply for entertainment. After interval we hear traditional and contemporary songs and see traditional dances about the land, the sea and the people of West Papua. The Biak People in West Papua have a saying: “nggo wor ba Ido, nggo mar” – “life without singing means death.”

August 19: Sacred Sound Journey: Sit within the harmonic soundwaves with one of Australia’s leading composer-performers Sarah Hopkins. Her visionary music for cello, overtone singing, bells & the celestial sounding Harmonic Whirlies will amaze,delight & inspire whilst taking you on a journey deep into the spirit of the land. Sarah Hopkins invites audience members to play hand bells along the length of the tunnel.

August 20: Deep within the Belly: The Grand Finale will bring together shakuhachi, string, vocal and percussive elements to celebrate the resonant character of the tunnel in a concert not to be missed. This will feature new musical dialogues between musicians of different musical cultures, including veteran songmen of Arnhem Land, classically trained string players, shakuhachi and talented West Papuan singers who have found asylum in Australia.

For booking ticketshttps://events.ticketbooth.com.au/events/23157

For facebook users “Tunnel Number Five” facebook page

Artists Bio’s


Anne Norman – Artistic director, Shakuhachi, Poet: Melbourne

Anne is a shakuhachi performer and composer, regularly touring and working as soloist and in collaboration with a diverse range of artists. From traditional and contemporary Japanese, European and Australian art music, to cross-over world fusion and free-form impro with musicians of various cultural heritages, Anne also collaborates with visual artists, dancers and actors, and has performed in Australia, Japan, America and Europe. Anne studied flute at Melbourne Conservatorium and three lineages of shakuhachi in Japan, culminating in studies at Tokyo University of the Arts. Anne is featured on many CDs and film sound tracks. http://www.annenorman.com

One felt that Norman’s ears, eyes and pores were open to the tunnel and her colleagues whenever she appeared on stage… the highlight of the evening was the amalgamation of [Yolngu] songmen and shakuhachi – the audience responding overwhelmingly to this fusion of North East Arnhem Land and Japanese traditions… It was an inspired series from Norman… who clearly worked tirelessly and passionately to bring her vision to fruition – not only recognising her own dreams, but allowing others to dream also.” Roslyn Perry, Managing Editor and Development Manager, Off The Leash, Saturday 20 August 2016: REVIEW: Deep Within the Belly

“Australian composer-performer Anne Norman, who spent many years studying shakuhachi in Japan, has brought a spirit of reconciliation to the tunnel to transform its original purpose and bring the little flute (the shakuhachi) and the giant flute (the tunnel) together to start a meaningful and daring adventure in sounds.” Le Tuan Hung, Sonic Gallery


Anja Tait – Violinist and improviser: Darwin

An inventive and impressive improviser, Anja completed undergraduate studies in advanced chamber music, string pedagogy, and violin performance at Tasmanian Conservatorium with Keith Crellin, founding member of the Australian String Quartet. She was a member of the contemporary music group The Nova Ensemble in Perth and has contributed her musicianship to many collaborative performances throughout Australia and collaborative practice and research in arts education and music therapy.


Netanela Mizrahi – Violin/Viola: Darwin

Netanela is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator, with a Masters in Music Therapy. She has toured, arranged and recorded music in various styles, with artists including Leah Flanagan, Mark Hilton, Jess Ribeiro, the Ad Hoc Ensemble and the Arafura Ensemble, and has held a principal violin role in the Darwin Symphony Orchestra since 2005. Netanela has gained public recognition for excellence in performance and community engagement through the Darwin City Council, Northern Territory Parliament, Charles Darwin University, Darwin Symphony Orchestra and wider NT music community. She composes music for youth choirs and ensembles, and her music theatre scores for The Adventures of Burat the Brave and Fedelma, the Enchanter’s Daughter were performed in Darwin in 2013-2014. Netanela works closely with youth and community directing music and theatre camps in Darwin, and working with young people on the Tiwi Islands and in the Immigration Detention Centre, and as a music therapist in areas of disability, youth and community, and palliative care.


Ernie Gruner – Violin and Viola: Melbourne

Ernie Gruner is a violinist with a passion for improvisation and world music. He formed improvising violin trio Bowlines and is inspired by visual art, theatre and dance improvisers. He’s improvised for over 15 years with Melbourne Playback Theatre Company, and performed or created music for theatre productions including Café Scheherezade, Progress and Melancholy etc. Ernie specialises in klezmer, other styles include middle-eastern, balkan and celtic. Bands include Bohemian Nights, Saray Iluminado, Klezmeritis. Ernie was profiled in Seth Jordan’s book “World Music: Global Sounds in Australia”. He has over 75 recording credits.


Jason Guwanbal Gurruwiwi – Manikay Songman: Nhulunbuy

Guwanbal has had a long and illustruous music career, including drummer for Dr. Yunupingu’s first band Diamond Dogs, writing songs with Gurrulmul and coaching Yothu Yindi’s first yidaki (didgeridoo) player! As a traditional singer he started singing manikay (traditional songs) at the age of 12, by the time he was 20 he was recognised as a songman. Now he is a leader and teacher (law, dance and yidaki) the Gamurrungu , No. 2 (in rank) songman for Gälpu Clan.
He started his music career at Elcho Island in 1974 as a young man inspired by the music around him. He made his first drum kit out of flour tins and soon Keith Djinini and Bruce Dhamarrandji of Dharrawaṟ band heard the excitement about him and then took Jason on as their drummer. He has written many songs in his career also including Garuḻ for Gurrumul and more recently the hit song Malirri which Bärra – West Wind performs at it’s shows. He is brother to Larry Gurruwiwi, a band leader of Bärra – West Wind.


Sebastian Guyundula Burarrwanga – Manikay Songman: Nhulunbuy

Sebastian is just starting out in his career but already the quality of his voice has been captured on a soon to be released Gospel album by Bärra – West Wind. His voice is likened to Gurrumul, gentle and pure in solo or harmony. He performs regularly with Bärra – West Wind. He is of the Gumatj Clan.


Henk Rumbewas – West Papuan Song and Dance: Darwin

Henk is a traditional singer and dancer from Biak island, West Papua, and has performed with his traditional Papuan siber drum across the globe since the early 1980’s, advocating Papuan issues through music, language and culture. He is the Cultural and Sports Representative in Exile for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua, travelling to the UN and various international forums, using music to bring attention to the silent genocide of his people.


Sarah Hopkins – Cello, Harmonic voice, Whirlies, Hand-bells: Brisbane.

Sarah Hopkins lived in Darwin from 1981 to 1990. Her world-renowned choral piece “Past Life Melodies” was composed in this period. Sarah has performed her compositions across the globe on cello and simultaneously sung harmonics. She also incorporates harmonic whirlies within her music making. “Compositionally, I trust the power of the simple, direct and heartfelt; and am guided by my intuition.” http://www.sarahhopkins.com

Support Staff


Anisha Angelroth – Project Manager: Darwin

Anisha is a project developer working in the arts since her London College days of the early 90’s. With a particular interest in Community Arts and Festivals she has worked with Cultural Organisations in Europe, Asia and Australia. Born in India and adopted to European parents, she travelled the world from an early age. A citizen of the globe, Anisha is interested in cultural collaborations in any medium.

Dave in residency @ RMH_cr

David Matthews – Audio & photo documentation, this website: Melbourne

David is a location sound recordist with 35 years of recording performance, spoken word & soundscapes. Throughout the 80’s, David produced and presented on public Radio in Perth & Melbourne. David’s location recordings of breathing rock on the coast of Arnhem Land was a highlight of the 2015 Underground performances, amplified by the resonance of the tunnel to sound like the audience was inside the lair of a sleeping dragon. http://www.altsoundings.com

Carmen Chapple – Graphic design

Carmen moved from her hometown in country South Australia first to London, where she undertook her great Australian rite of passage as a nanny, and then to Sydney where she tried her hand at finance, contributing to the global economic crisis of 2009. On her return from a three-year visa overstay in Brazil, Carmen moved to Katherine in the Northern Territory where she began experimenting in graphic design for Djilpin Arts. Carmen now lives in Darwin and grabs a few moments for studying graphic design while her 1 year old daughter is taking morning and afternoon naps.

Eve Pawlik – Project assistant

Eve worked her cheerful magic in the role of artist liaison and support for our visiting singers from Arnhem land. Following tertiary studies in Melbourne in visual arts, anthropology and geography, Eve took up work with Artback NT. She now calls Darwin home and regularly travels to remote communities to work with performance artists. She is passionate about indigenous arts and Tunnel Number Five are delighted to have her on team.

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Listening resources

2016 poster


Written resources



Images offered to us from various sources …