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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

CASP Stories: Building a Song in Portland


Open rehearsal Sun 1 October. Artists search for the voice of The Foundations.  This September regional artist Gabrielle Bates will be joined by 40 regional artists, vocalists and performers to activate The Foundations in Portland, NSW.

The group will explore different forms of song to express the voice of the historic cement works, including its Indigenous history. Wiradjuri Dabee Elder Peter Swain will contribute his exceptional knowledge and performance experience alongside celebrated performance artists WeiZen Ho, Michael Petchkovsky, and acclaimed Sydney vocalists Voices from the Vacant Lot.

Bathurst’s 40 strong choir Eclectica, led by Tracey Callinan OAM, will also join the project to amplify the building’s voice.

“Since the Covid lockdown I’ve been curious about the voice of the buildings,” said the project’s creator Gabrielle Bates. “I spent much time in isolation noticing all the creaks and noises in my home, and began to realise it had a song that I thought others might like to hear.”

The project is supported by the NSW Government’s Country Arts Support Program through Arts OutWest, and an active Gofundme campaign has raised further support to get the artists to Portland.

Rehearsals of Building Song will be open to the public at The Foundations on Sunday, 1 October 2023 at 3.00pm. Everyone is welcome to join in and discover the building’s voice.

For further information contact Gab Bates on 0423 251 885 or email

Gallery: pictures of a development day of Building a Song in Portland in early September 2023. Photos: Arts OutWest media associate Alan Sadlier.