Most of us grew up watching television, be it the broadcast variety of yesteryear or the modern equivalents iView and Netflix.
Roland Rowa Brown grew up watching TED talks.
Early life in East Gippsland outside of the range of broadcast television had an innovating impact on young Roland’s life.
“My dad was really into [TED] … we couldn’t get good reception where we lived, so he’d download it,” Roland said.
Flash-forward to the young Daudai man’s TEDxCanberra debut today and Roland, who performs under the stage name Dark Rose, will be giving a musically enhanced talk of his own.
“I’m nervous, but also excited,” he said.
The feature instrument of Roland’s performance will be the didjeribone. As the name suggests, it’s a cross between the traditional didgeridoo and a trombone. The instrument was invented by Charlie McMahon, founder of iconic Australian group Gondwanaland. Roland counts Charlie as an uncle.
Capable of producing a wider variety of notes than the traditional didgeridoo, the didjeribone utilises two tubes, one inside the other, that the performer slides to greatly vary the pitch. Like a trombone, the didjeribone employs a bell-like end enabling a much louder final note.
Roland only began performing at the start of the year and has enjoyed significant success since. “It’s been really good, people really seem to enjoy it,” he said.
For TEDxCanberra, Roland says he will be demonstrating his uncle’s creation, but also has an important message to spread, one of inclusion and hope. The purpose of his shows are to bring people out of the dark and into the light.
Author Myles Peterson is part of the TEDxCanberra media team.