The Big Marimba


The Big Marimba was a huge Community music project devised by
Linsey for The Brisbane Biennial Festival of Music (as it was then
called) which involved 400 people from all around Cooroy on The
Sunshine Coast making a 320 metre long marimba (xylophone) that
comprised 160 x 2 octave marimbas. The 2400 marimba bars were made
and tuned over a 10 week period in a workshop that was open 7 days a
week at the Cooroy Butter Factory under the guidance of Linsey, Mik
Moore and Jacinta Foale. The 320 metres of marimba was then put in
place for 9 days crossing the Brisbane River attached to the
Victoria Bridge so that passers by could play it. To launch the Big
Marimba in Brisbane, 100 of the people from the community who had
made the marimbas came down to perform in The Big Marimba band with
30 marimbas and percussion.

This project had many long term spin-offs with many people on the
Sunshine Coast continuing to play marimbas and a number of marimba
ensembles springing up with people who had never played music before
not only keeping on playing but teaching others. Ten years later
there was a reunion that attracted 300 people. In 2006 there are
more people than ever playing marimbas on the Sunshine Coast. The
Qld Music Festival continued the Big Marimba project in Barcaldine
and Rockhampton in more recent years.