A generous, collaborative spirit. Curiosity and imagination. Supreme musicianship enhanced by an instinctive stagecraft. More evidence of that endless quest to enrich the string quartet repertoire with new work, not just for themselves but for all players, for all time. Profound seriousness and quirky humour.

Yep, just another Kronos Quartet concert.

Kronos Quartet with Maatakitj. Photo © Cam Campbell.

Except this one, performed on the penultimate night of Perth Festival 2023, wasn’t. Because on this occasion we had the honour of hearing the world premiere of Maatakitj’s (Dr Clint Bracknell) Bindari (thunderstorm).

Arriving right before the interval, Bindari swept through the Perth Concert Hall in three rain-drenched movements (Bindari, Midjal and Yongkar), a rare confluence of Noongar song and percussive, syncopated rhythms and string quartet. And, in Yongkar – the material of which, in Clint’s words, echoes “an old traveling Noongar comedy song about a kangaroo on the plains searching for shelter from the rain,” dance, powerfully coordinated by community engagement artist and performer Rubeun Yorkshire.

Clint, whose great passion is the revitalisation of Noongar language and song, is no mere academic but a charismatic stage performer blessed with the powerful voice and...