Kalkadoon Man


Kalkadoon Man accompanies one of Australia's most respected musicians, William Barton, on a 10-day quest to make a didgeridoo using traditional methods passed down from his father, uncle and other tribal members of the Kalkadunga nation.

Throughout the journey William shares his thoughts, stories and compositions which give a rare insight into the life of this young Kalkadoon descendant (William was born in 1981) trying to resolve his place in the contemporary world as a passionate musician dedicated to the traditional cultural values instilled so deeply within him.

Using an axe, a piece of wire and his knowledge of the land, William takes the audience through the hot landscape of his tribal lands in the Mount Isa region (1830 kms north of Brisbane) to find the right tree and craft the wood into a didgeridoo.

Watching William working on the instrument, as he once watched his Kalkadoon elders, the audience gains an insight into the art of making the didgeridoo.

As he works, William explains the spirituality and artistry of professional didgeridoo playing to give a greater understanding of the meaning and significance of the didgeridoo in traditional and contemporary performances.

Kalkadoon Man climaxes with a performance by William in the heart of his tribal lands. He performs a dynamic composition written especially for this journey.

I guess in Aboriginal lore, the old fellas pick out the potential didg players when they're just young boys. I was lucky to be that chosen one from the Kalkadunga mob. — William Barton, lead actor

It was pure process...just me and William, a camera and a microphone and the bubble of the journey. — Director Brendan Fletcher on shooting Kalkadoon Man


William Barton
Release dates
2004 - Australia
2007 - USA
G - general

Kalkadoon Man was commissioned by the Queensland Biennial Festival of Music.

William Barton's mother is opera singer Delmae Barton.

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, Kalkadoon Man, <>, retrieved 19 October 2019

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