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Music, Place and Country


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The Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Wheeler Centre present a talk exploring the deep connections between music, place and country, drawing parallels and counterpoints between composers and musicians from three different cultures.


For Spring Fling, the Wheeler Centre and ACO join forces to bring together a panel of musical artists to explore the deep connections between music, place and country, drawing parallels and counterpoints between composers and musicians from diverse cultures.

William Barton is a Kalkadunga man, widely recognised as Australia’s leading didgeridoo player. An esteemed composer, instrumentalist and vocalist, his work expands the musical horizons of the didgeridoo, and the culture and landscape it represents.

Deborah Cheetham AO is a Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator. Her work Eumeralla: a war requiem for peace, explores the wars on Gunditjmara country between traditional owners and those who sought to dispossess them.

Mindy Meng Wang 王萌 is a Chinese/Australian composer and world-class modern guzheng player, whose unique compositions explore the fertile space between Chinese classical and Western contemporary music.

Together with host Santilla Chingaipe, they will delve into questions around how music responds to and expresses culture, and how this convergence can refresh our perceptions of place.

The evening will feature a special performance by William Barton.


This event will be photographed and recorded for use by the Wheeler Centre.

Presented in partnership with the Australian Chamber Orchestra


Wheelchair accessible

Accessible toilets available

You can learn more about the Wheeler Centre’s accessibility policies here. Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact reception on 03 9094 7800 or

About Spring Fling

Celebrating our return to the stage and the rejuvenation of the arts and culture communities, Spring Fling is a short series of big ideas offering a delectable picnic spread of events with leading thinkers, writers and creators from Australia and abroad.

Spring Fling is supported by the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund, a Victorian Government and City of Melbourne partnership.

Spring Fling 2022


William Barton

William Barton is Australia’s leading didgeridoo player as well as composer, instrumentalist and vocalist. William started learning the instrument from his first learnt the uncle, Arthur Peterson, an elder of the Wannyi, Lardil and Kalkadunga people and was working from an early age with tradition... Read more

Deborah Cheetham

Deborah Cheetham, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and artistic director, has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years. In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Cheetham was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). Deborah Cheetham’s ... Read more

Mindy Meng Wang 王萌

Mindy Meng Wang 王萌 is a versatile Chinese/Australian Composer and world leading contemporary Guzheng Performing Artist. She is a pioneer to bring the Guzheng (ancient Chinese harp) into many western genres such as experimental, Jazz, western classical, Electronic, pop and improvisation. In the U... Read more

Santilla Chingaipe

Santilla Chingaipe is a filmmaker, historian and author, whose work explores settler colonialism, slavery, and post-colonial migration in Australia. Chingaipe’s first book of non-fiction detailing the untold stories of convicts of African descent is forthcoming, and the critically acclaimed and aw... Read more


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176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.