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Encyclopedia entry for 'Gondwanaland Project' LETTER:

Formed in 1982
StyleAmbient
 Charlie McMahon (didgeridoo, vocals), Peter Carolan (synthesiser)
 Albums: Terra Incognita (Hot, 1984), Let the Dog Out (Powderworks, 1986), Gondwanaland (WEA, 1987), Wildlife (WEA, 1989), Wide Skies (WEA, 1992), Big Land (WEA, 1994), Xenophon (Log/Shock 1998).

History
Gondwanaland was the hypothetical continental landmass of the prehistoric Mesozoic era that included Antartica, South America, Africa, India and Australia. Sydney musician Charlie McMahon formed the band Gondwanaland Project in order to combine his love for the Australian outback and his didgeridoo playing.

McMahon took up the didgeridoo as a teenager and perfected his technique over the years he spent working in Central Australia. Much of McMahon's music was inspired by landscapes, in particular the endless horizons of the desert. To achieve the unique sound McMahon required for his desert tunes, he joined up with synthesiser player Peter Carolan in 1982. Eddie Duquemin (percussion) joined the duo in 1986. Gondwanaland issued a self-financed cassette in 1983 Didgeridu-Synth. The Hot label issued Gondwanaland's debut album, Terra Incognita, and single, `Danger'/`Drought', in May 1984. The Powderworks label issued Let the Dog Out in 1986, before Gondwanaland signed to WEA for the Gondwanaland album. McMahon introduced his vocals to the overall sound on that album.

Gondwanaland achieved its strongest combination of ambient and avant-garde experimentation on the album Wildlife. Tracks like `Highway' and `Deja Vu' evoked the vastness and loneliness of Central Australia. The band contributed `Bullant' to the Various Artists album Building Bridges on CBS (1989). Gondwanaland played intermittently, but continued to record appealing music.



Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop / Ian McFarlane 1999
under licence from Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd

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