Art of Sound

Art of Sound 2020: World Creative Music Public Performance

You are invited to join us for an afternoon performance with the Turner Brown Band, presented by the Music Program in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts with support from Sustainable Futures, Office of the PVC Learning Futures. This event showcases creative approaches to social justice, cultural diversity and gender equity, and contributes towards SDG 5 and 10.

Turner-Brown Band for the Art of Sound 2020 performance

Experience what happens when southern US Church-based ‘Sacred Steel’ music crashes head on with blues-based sounds. The Turner Brown Band is a joint international project between US ‘Sacred Steel’ vocalist and lap-slide guitar sensation Nikki D Brown and Australian slide-guitarist Dom Turner (of ‘Backsliders’). The result is incredibly uplifting dual-slide guitar driven southern US Church-based gospel-soul-funk with blues.

Event details

When: 1.00pm - 2.00 pm on Thursday, 12 March 2020. Doors will open at 12.45pm
Where: The Playhouse (Auditorium), Penrith Campus (Kingswood), Western Sydney University
Cost: Free, but registration is required

Event program

This event will be em-ceed by Associate Professor Sally Macarthur (Director of Academic Program, Music and Music Therapy) and features a 45 minute set by The Turner Brown Band, followed by a lively panel discussion with leading thinkers to discuss the performance and diversity challenges in the music industry. The panel will feature A.Prof Sally Macarthur (chair), Dr Clare Maclean (composer), Dr Kate Fagan (singer-songwriter and poet), and Ms Jayd Abacan-Luna (WSU student). You can find more details below.


Please RSVP to attend below as seating is limited. Fields with a '*' are mandatory.

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For questions, please contact Sustainable Futures

Western: World Music Creative Thinking

The music programme at Western Sydney University encourages students to become free-thinking musicians through “eclectic thinking” who move across, within and beyond boundaries with respect for the multicultural values and cultures of Western Sydney, and knowledge traditions of the world both ancient and contemporary, all within a sense of creative voice unique to the individual.

This event will also host and support an invite-only workshop to foster the creativity of diverse Western Sydney songwriters in a way that develops their creative voice through mentoring with Turner-Brown Band and other University staff mentors. This workshop supports SDG 5 and 10.

About the Band

‘The Turner Brown Band’, is a joint Australia/USA musical collaboration between Australian slide guitarist and music producer Dom Turner (of awarded blues act ‘Backsliders’ fame) and Ohio-based ‘Sacred Steel’ lap-slide guitar as well as vocal sensation Nikki D Brown. The result is a merging of Nikki’s southern style US gospel ‘Sacred Steel’ guitar and vocals with Dom’s blues-based sounds forming a duelling slide guitar eclectic and uplifting gospel-blues musical feast.

Nikki D Brown, born into a Church-based lap-slide guitar tradition known as ‘Sacred Steel’, learnt the instrument first-hand from myriad steel guitar masters including Ruth Durdel, Yolondo Ramsey, Del Grace and Henry Tyson, melding them all into her unique and wildly gritty guitar sound. Her powerful vocals and performance has developed over a lifetime of gospel singing, resulting in a powerfully rich, raspy soul-gospel vocal style delivered with impeccable flare and flamboyancy.

Renowned Australian blues-based slide-guitarist and vocalist, Dom Turner has spent more than 30 years touring the festival circuit with Backsliders as well as various musical collaborations including Phil Wiggins & Dom Turner. Joining Dom and Nikki are her sisters Gloria Brown (rhythm guitar and vocals) and cousin Tomika Webb (drums and vocals) who share the same deep musical heritage and love of infectious gospel-soul music.

About the Panelists and Mentors

  • Associate Professor Sally Macarthur lectures in Musicology and is Director of Academic Program, Music, Western Sydney University. She has researched and written on topics to do with new classical music, women's music and music in spiritual and cross-cultural contexts. Her work draws on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and feminist theory. Her book, Towards a Twenty-First-Century Feminist Politics of Music, is a feminist-Deleuzian approach to the woman composer question.
  • Dr Clare Maclean is a New Zealand-born composer who has written a number of pieces for the Sydney Chamber Choir, including the Osanna Mass, recorded on the Osanna CD, the second CD of her music by the choir on the Tall Poppies label. In 2012, this work won the Australian Art Music Award for vocal music. She has been commissioned by ensembles in Australia and overseas, and was composer-in-residence with the St Louis Chamber Chorus (Missouri) from 2006 to 2011. She has represented Australia in ISCM World Music days and Asian Composers League festivals. She teaches at Western Sydney University.
  • Dr Kate Fagan is the Director, Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University. She is an internationally recognised poet and songwriter whose third collection of poetry First Light (Giramondo, 2012) was short-listed for both the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and The Age Book of the Year Award. Her album Diamond Wheel won the National Film and Sound Archive Award for Folk Recording. Current research projects include an extended study of Aboriginal poet Ali Cobby Eckermann and a book-length manuscript of poems called Song in the Grass.
  • Ms Jayd Abacan-Luna is a third-year singer-songwriter in the Bachelor of Music programme, within the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University. She is the lead singer of the Music Area’s Funk Band, The Groove Operators, which under Dr Waldo Garrido’s mentorship were the house band for the Greater Western Sydney and Canberra Giants Netball Team, performing at the Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney.
  • Dr Garrido was a founding member of the Australian jazz band The Catholics. He was signed to Warner Chappell Music for 16 years. He is a world renown bassist, composer, singer, and producer who has worked with various pop, Latin and jazz bands and musicians such as The Party Boys. Dr Garrido has produced two solo albums (Dejame Tocarte, a South American release through Sony and Loco Festival/Mushroom records). Dr Garrido has had two radio hits in his native Chile, Muerdeme la Lengua and Dejame Tocarte. His song Fiesta Latina picked at number 12 in the Aria Club Charts in Australia.
  • Associate Professor Bruce Crossman holds the position of Discipline Leader, Music and Music Therapy at Western Sydney University and is a Key Researcher in the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture. His music has been featured throughout the Asia-Pacific region including at the ISCM World Music Days (Beijing, Sydney), Tongyeong International Music Festival (Korea), Asian Composers League Festival (Taiwan), Asian Music Week (Japan), Tunugan (Philippines) and Pacific Rim Music Festival (USA). In 2017, Navona Records (USA) released Living Colours: Pacific Sounds and Spirit.
  • Mr Vincent Tay is an Associate Lecturer in Media Arts Production, Western Sydney University and Company Director, Filigree Films. He is an award-winning cinematographer, editor, and producer. His film credits include LIGHT (dir. Kosta Nikas) winner Best Experimental Film, LA Shorts Fest 2011; WHY DO YOU WANT TO SEE MY FACE (dir. Iqbal Barkat) screened at NY African Diaspora Film Festival, Brisbane International Film Festival; 30½ (dir. Phoenix Liu) winner best Foreign Romantic-Drama, 17th Indie Gathering International Film Festival, USA and Nominee for Best Cinematography.