William Barton

Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia
Classical | Traditional
About William

William Barton, a Kalkadoon (Kalkadunga) man, is widely recognised as one of Australia's finest traditional didgeridoo players and a leading didgeridoo player in the classical world. Website:

William Barton's mother is opera singer Delmae Barton, a member of the Stolen Generations. His Uncle Arthur, also a didgeridoo player, influenced him greatly and Elders nominated Barton to continue the traditional cultural music tradition and handed him Arthur's didgeridoo.

Aged 17 he was chosen to be the soloist for the world premiere of Dance Gundah, a concerto for didgeridoo and orchestra. Ever since he is bringing together Aboriginal traditional and Western art music, like in the performance Heartland with violinist Véronique Serret (who is also his partner).

The documentary Kalkadoon Man is a movie about William Barton's musical work.


Album formats explained

Album formats

  • 10": 10 inch vinyl records were played at 45 or 33 1/3 rounds per minute (rpm). The former could hold 9, the latter 12 minutes of music per side.
  • 7": 7 inch records (often referred to as 45s) were played at 45 rpm or 33 1/3 rpm, with about 4:30 or 6 minutes of music per side.
  • LP: Long play, is a vinyl record played at ​33 1⁄3 rpm with a 12 or 10-inch diameter.
  • EP: Extended play, are vinyl records that allowed two or even three songs on each side.

Songs of Mother Country

Sorry, no image for: William Barton - Songs of Mother Country

Sorry, no tracklisting available.


William Barton composed and performed Songs of Mother Country as a major commission for the Queensland Biennial Festival of Music.



CD/side 1

  1. Requiem: Introit / Kyrie / Gradual / Sequence / Canticle / Sanctus / Agnus Dei / Communion

CD/side 2

  1. My Country Childhood: Song of the Hills / A Church Gathering / A Village Funeral / Song of the River
  2. Earth Cry (abridged version)
  3. Great Sandy Island: The Sea Coast / The Boro-ground / The Rain-forest / The Garrison / Dune Dreaming
  4. New Norcia
  5. Quamby (for chamber orchestra): Prelude / In the Valley / On High Hills / At Quamby Bluff

The double CD Requiem is a major work for orchestra, chorus and didgeridoo by Peter Sculthorp.

Songs of Sky and Sea

William Barton - Songs of Sky and Sea
May 2004
  1. Earth Cry
  2. Mangrove
  3. Songs of Sea and Sky: Prelude / Saibai - solo violin: Alan Smith / Interlude / Mission Hymn / Dance Song / Lament
  4. Kakadu - solo cor angalis: Alexa Murray
  5. From Ubirr

Songs of Sky and Sea features works by Peter Sculthorpe revised for didgeridoo and orchestra, performed by William Barton and the Queensland Orchestra. The album was nominated for 'Best Classical Album' in the 2004 Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards.

River Symphony

  1. Concerto for Didgeridoo: Earth / Wind / Water / Fire
  2. River Symphony: Storm Clouds Gather / Memory of the Sea / Riverflow to Angry Waters / Dolphin, Platypus and Fish Dart in the Shallows / A New Purpose / Memory of the Sea, Riverflow and River of Life / River, Cities and Pollution / Lament for the River and Triumphant Return to the Sea

The Concerto for Didgeridoo was inspired by didgeridoo player William Barton, the soloist in this recording, who provided Sean O'Boyle with the rhythms on which the piece is based.

The Journey

William Barton - The Journey
  1. Dawn of Time
  2. Earth Song
  3. Bird Song
  4. Fire
  5. The Storm
  6. Gathering 1
  7. Gathering 2
  8. Cleansing
  9. Life Circle
  10. Sound of Movement
  11. Journey's End
  12. Slow Break Beat
  13. Dance at Sunrise

This is William Barton's first self-released album.

Dreamtime: Improvisations for Didgeridoo and Guitar

November 2009
  1. Dream (35:00)
  2. Dijilile (based on Dijilile by Peter Sculthorpe; 8:16)
  3. Earth (15:45)

Earth Cry / Piano Concerto / Kakadu

William Barton - Earth Cry / Piano Concerto / Kakadu
  1. Earth Cry
  2. Memento Mori
  3. Piano Concerto
  4. From Oceania
  5. Kakadu

William Barton plays with music by Tasmanian-born Peter Sculthorpe who has re-written some of his key works to include parts for the didgeridoo.

Desert Stars Dancing

William Barton - Desert Stars Dancing
June 2011
  1. Desert Stars Dancing
  2. I Sunrise
  3. II Flight
  4. Moreton Bay
  5. Night Breath
  6. I Trance
  7. II Dreams and Chanting
  8. III Cadenza
  9. Electric Landscapes
  10. I Air
  11. II Light
  12. The Ground Beneath Us
  13. Meridional


1 June 2012
  1. Kalkadungu: Warrior Spirit 1
  2. Kalkadungu: Songman Entrance
  3. Kalkadungu: Bleached Bones
  4. Kalkadungu: Warrior Spirit 2
  5. Kalkadungu: Spirit of Kalkadunga
  6. Didjeridu Solo No. 1
  7. Earth Cry
  8. Voice and Didjeridu Improvisation No. 1
  9. I Dream of Sacred... I Am My Dream
  10. Didjeridu Solo No. 2
  11. Requiem (excerpt): 8. Communion
  12. Voice and Didjeridu Improvisation No. 2
  13. Didjeridu Solo No. 3

Birdsong at Dusk

4 July 2014
  1. Birdsong at Dusk
  2. Improvisation
  3. Petrichore
  4. 7/8 Not Too Late
  5. Dreamtime Duet
  6. Didge Fusion

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Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through any album links.

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View article sources (1)

[1] 'Where wind and strings collide', SMH 2/1/2021

Cite this page

Korff, J 2021, William Barton, <>, retrieved 17 June 2024

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