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William Barton

Born: 4 / 6 / 1981

Location: Australia

Open artist website

William Barton is an Aboriginal Australian didgeridoo player. He was born in Mount Isa, Queensland on 4 June 1981 and learned to play at the age of 11 from Uncle Arthur Peterson an elder of the Wannyi, Lardil and Kalkadungu tribes of Western Queensland. He is widely recognised as one of Australia's finest traditional didgeridoo players and a leading didgeridoo (yidaki) player in the classical world.Barton has said, "The yidaki embodies everything of the land, because it’s from the tree, it’s the breath of life and the land, of sustenance to us as human beings. It embodies the history of those old trees. The yidaki has memories, it’s the breath of our ancestors, particularly when the instrument is passed on physically from one person to the next.""I'm doing what I love," Barton says. "I want to take the oldest culture in the world and blend it with Europe's rich musical legacy."Barton has been featured on the ABC television program, Australian Story.By the age of 12 Barton was working in Sydney, playing for Aboriginal dance troupes. At the age of 15 he toured America, after which he decided he wanted to become a soloist rather than a backing musician and started to study different kinds of music. In 1998, he made his classical debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and became Australia's first didgeridoo artist-in-residence with a symphony orchestra.In November 2022, Barton was named Queensland Australian of the Year.In 2023, Barton become the first Indigenous artist to receive the Richard Gill Award for distinguished service to Australian music.


2012 Kalkadungu
2014 Birdsong at Dusk

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