Noongar musician returns to creative roots

26/07/2023 | 4 mins (including 1.40 min video)


A renowned Noongar song-maker and composer, who releases music under the name Maatakitj, has returned to The University of Western Australia’s Conservatorium of Music.

Professor Clint Bracknell, who graduated with a PhD from UWA in 2016, investigates connections between song, language and landscapes while working on projects to improve Indigenous community access to cultural heritage collections.

“As someone from WA who has focused deeply on Noongar song and language of the South West, it feels fitting to return to work at UWA,” Professor Bracknell said.

“After working in linguistics at the University of Queensland for the past few years, I composed for Kronos Quartet as part of 2023 Perth Festival and that momentum carried over to a fully-fledged return to the west coast and to music as a disciplinary home at UWA.”

Professor Bracknell said he was looking forward to making more music and developing exciting creative opportunities in WA.

“Having led Sydney Conservatorium’s inaugural contemporary music major almost a decade ago, I’m aiming to help the Conservatorium of Music launch its new contemporary music degree and increase appreciation of the communicative power of diverse music,” he said.

Professor Bracknell said he wanted to bolster the UWA Language Lab’s contribution to Indigenous language and build capacity in music and languages in WA through everything from community engagement programs to postgraduate research.

Professor Bracknell is currently working on five Australian Research Council projects and co-editing two books — the Cambridge Companion to Music in Australia and Shakespeare in the Noongar World: Hecate and selected sonnets.

He received the 2020 Barrett Award for Australian Studies and has co-translated world-first Indigenous language works in film and theatre. He serves as Deputy Chair of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Council and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Media references

Annelies Gartner (UWA PR & Media Adviser) 08 6488 6876

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