Mark Simeon Ferguson's new album on ABC a first for diverse voices
Head of Jazz Mark Simeon Ferguson's new album 'Where Emus Roam the Streets' is the first jazz release from the 2022 ABC Composer Commissions Fund, created to support new Australian music from emerging and diverse voices.
The ensemble features young women all starting to hit their stride on the Australian jazz scene.They are all also Honours graduates from the Elder Conservatorium's jazz program: drummer Kyrie Anderson, bassist Bonnie Aué, pianist Ciara Ferguson (heard here on vibraphone) alongside guest trombonist and recent BMus Advanced graduate Jasmine Ferguson.
'Where Emus Roam the Streets' is a lyrical contemporary jazz album inspired by the dramatic vistas, ‘ghost towns’ and extraordinary people of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges on Adnyamathanha country. Mark’s association with the area is through his Aunt Jan and Uncle Chris Ferguson who are deeply connected to the community, having lived in Beltana for decades. Through them he met senior Adnyamathanha man Terrence Coulthard — whose ‘Welcome Song’ features on the album.
In preparation for this project, Mark spent days driving, running, walking and sitting in the northern part of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges between Parachilna and Iga Warta. Where Emus Roam the Streets was inspired by these experiences, alongside extensive research and conversations with members of the community. The album’s nine new pieces explore the beauty and hardship of Adnyamathanha country and reflect on the lives of its people, the collision of cultures, and Mark’s own experiences.