Silkweed have carved a niche in Australian folk and arts circles with their inspirational interpretations of Australian history featuring original music, drama and visual presentations. Voice, cello, violin keyboard, flute and accordion weave throughout a spellbinding storyline and a mix of modern and archival images in all of their performances. Silkweed shows and concerts have moved audiences at festivals as diverse as The National FF, Ten Days on the Island, Junction Arts festival, Cygnet and Tamar Vally Festivals and on tours around their home state of Tasmania.
Letters from a Distant Heart was written by Erin Collins with the support of a grant from Tasmanian Regional Arts and was performed as a reading at the 2012 Cygnet Folk Festival to a standing ovation. It has since been performed again at Cygnet FF and at the Deauchaineux Theatre in Hobert. The show will head to the rest of the country in 2014 with the first performances at the National Folk Festival in Canberra during the Easter weekend.
The show is a personal and also universal story. It employs actual letters written by my father as a young man heading off to war in 1941 and traverses his story as a Japanese POW until his eventual release.
The story also relates the fate of an Afghan asylum seeker in an Australian Immigration Detention Centre woven through the personal journey of a young Australian woman.
While the letters from my dad are real, the story is fictional, although closely based on reality. I have visited asylum seekers in Australian detention and listened to many of their heart wrenching stories. What I want to portray in this performance piece is the commonality of human experience and the knowledge that what binds us as humans is greater than what divides us.
Weaving these stories with our music and with images has proven to be an enormously successful way of immersing the audience in a total experience."
The show premiered at the 2012 Cygnet Folk Festival. For a taster of the letters go to "upcoming shows"