Forging his own unique sound, didgeridoo virtuoso and composer William Barton has introduced a refreshing new voice to Australian classical music. Steve Dow talks to Barton about his many projects, including a new opera about former footballer Adam Goodes, and discusses his significance with musical leaders Deborah Cheetham and Simone Young.

William Barton
William Barton. Photo © Keith Saunders

At our café table, the didgeridoo master, composer, guitar player and vocalist William Barton has lined up two post-workout “recovery” juices and a cappuccino. The Kalkadunga man has been at the gym since 6:45 this morning with his personal trainer. Trim and alert days after flying from Italy back to Sydney, he’ll be off to the sauna soon.

The sauna reminds Barton a little of a ceremonial sweat lodge used by...