Here’s an extract from a television interview last night in Australia. Jon Muir does solo walking trips across the Australian deserts, Antarctic treks, and other seriously dangerous stuff, which seem to nearly kill him each time. Obviously very tough, but a gentle bloke as well. He’s reading from his diary entry as requested by the interviewer. See what he says about the music where there are no players. This is fairly commonly known about in parts of Australia. Does it have any parallel in Ireland? I’m sure there’d be stories no one is prepared to talk about. I wonder what tunes you’d hear.
Jon Muir: …this is from um the walk I’ve just completed. OK, “It happened again last night. An abrupt awakening when I knew instantly what had jolted me from sleep. This time there was no inclination to try and find out where it was coming from because I believed there was no physical explanation for the sound I was hearing. So instead, I listened and absorbed it. Just as I had heard before well on the traverse of Australia, voices chanting, stamping feet, clapping sticks. The unmistakeable sound of a corroboree. Everyday I see evidence of their occupation of the land and feel their presence. Having experienced this before it no longer seems strange to hear their celebration. It’s comforting. I looked up at the stars and gently fall into my usual solid, deep sleep.”
Andrew Denton: And was that a dream, a hallucination? Do you know what that was?
Jon Muir: Um I think, I think I was hearing voices from the past. And I’ve heard that before and not actually really spoke to too many people about it. But on the drive home something very interesting happened, and that was, we stopped in at a mate of mine who lives out there in the outback, Aboriginal bloke, and he had a mate of his over who does a lot of cattle work and spends a lot of time out in the middle of nowhere. And he said to me, we were having a bit of a yarn about this walk I’d just done and he said “Does the desert ever speak to you?” And I said “Yeah, it does.” And he said “Have you heard the corroborees?” And I said, “Yes. Twice.” And he said “I heard one once with two mates and he heard exactly that same thing.” I got out of my sleeping, I thought I’ve got to go and check this out and I got out of my sleeping bag and followed this sound and there was just nothing out there.