Acknowledged as one of Australia’s finest didgeridoo players, Mark Atkins is also recognized internationally for his collaborative projects with some of the world’s leading composers and musicians. A descendant of Western Australia’s Yamitji people, as well as of Irish/Australian heritage, Mark is known not only for his masterly playing, but also as a storyteller, composer, percussionist, visual artist and instrument maker. Through Mark’s lips the air blows as a natural desert sound, in old ethnic chants and in polyphonic melodies of astonishing rhythm.
He has performed alongside and composed with artists and ensembles such as Philip Glass, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Sinead O’Connor, Peter Sculthorpe, Donald Lunney, Ornette Coleman, Gondwana, Jenny Morris, John Williamson, James Morrison, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Canberra, Melbourne and Cologne Symphony Orchestras, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Queensland Theatre Company and many more.
He was a founding member of performance ensemble Black Arm Band. Featuring Australia’s legends of indigenous contemporary music Black Arm Band created, performed and toured Murandak, Hidden Republic, Ngangwarra and Dirtsong into major venues in Australia and overseas, and to regional communities in Australia.
Mark is a prolific instrument maker, creating and painting didgeridoos from logs which he collects in the bush near his home in Tamworth, New South Wales. Exhibitions of his traditional and contemporary visual artwork have been shown in Japan, Europe and the United States.
Mark has numerous recordings and compositions to his credit. His awards and achievements include the Golden Didgeridoo at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and a Silver Medal for Best Original Score (co-composer Adam Starr) for the sound track for the documentary Take Heart.
Catch Mark and his nephew, Simon Abraham, on the main stage at Giiyong Festival.
Mark will also give a didgeridoo playing demonstration, not to be missed!