Only in OZ #15 – Musical Fence, Winton, Queensland

The Musical Fence, Winton, Queensland

 Here we are in sunny Winton.  Well … it was sunny on our previous visit in June 2009 – and it was sunny the day we first arrived earlier in June 2011, but a couple of days down the track and unseasonal rain has forced us indoors and off the roads, which are blocked in several directions.  Looks like my Rainbow won’t be working its magic this time …

So what better way to pass the time than to pay tribute to a brighter, happier Winton?!  Which, in addition to the Musical Fence above, is also home to the World’s Largest Deckchair – a dubious honour indeed, yet one shared by no one else in the world!  But I digress …

Designed by OZ musician/composer Graeme Leak and opened in July 2003, Winton’s Musical Fence is the first permanent musical fence installation in the world which makes it all the more amazing that ANYONE can drop in at ANY TIME and play away on what is, in effect, a giant 5-string guitar!  Fence management has thoughtfully provided a grab-bag of junk-yard ‘instruments’ for accompaniment, I guess so amateur musicians don’t embarass themselves with a solo performance …

It’s also been thoughtfully located in the industrial estate, a little way out of town!

Like Cooktown’s Musical Ship further north, the fence attracts music lovers, talented musicians and the non-musical alike.  So don’t be surprised if the sounds you hear don’t always fall under the traditional definition of ‘music’ – ‘noise’, ‘din’, ‘cacophony’ and ‘atonal’ are words that immediately spring to mind.

But who am I to judge?  And who cares when making music is this much fun AND an opportunity for an experience not many others in the world have had??

And far, far better way out here in the Outback where no one can hear you scream …



Other ‘music-making’ implements used to accompany the fence …

Stay dry!

And while you ARE staying dry, check out my interview on Jidhu’s blog, Reflections, to be posted 30/6/11!

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29 comments

  • @Tash – It’s fun to play with, but I’ve never heard it ‘played’ properly!! One day I’ll go to a concert …

  • Gotye found this and played around with it, and uses samples of the sounds on his track Eyes Wide Open! Sounds amazing, would love to check it out one day!

  • @BWOMM – Why thank you! Why not make it a year long field trip? Bet the kids would learn more that way …

  • By Word of Mouth Musings

    You always have amazing photo’s here – this is so on our bucket list for travel with the kids – so far its a tad out of the way for a homeschool field trip 😉

  • @Alessandra – I don’t think being in tune is a requirement for this fence!!
    @Jim – stop! I’m blushing … and you DO have great pix on your site!!

  • Wow, come across to your site and blown away wioth the template and pictures.
    ! Thought I had great pics on my site but you are teaching me a few things.
    Oh those Aussie outback pics are gorgeous.

  • Does it get tuned regularly?

  • @Jane & Lance – Welcome! Thanx so much for your kind comment, and for following my blog! Happily (or sadly, depending on your point of view), there are plenty more adventures to be had in the wonderful land of OZ!
    @PDP – well, send me a video clip of your talent! I’m happy to say no film or video exists of my ‘musical’ efforts!!
    @Manzanita – I believe they DO have dances beside the fence, sadly caring nought whether or not it is my cup of tea …

  • That almost has the paintings on the loo beat. But everyone loves music. They could have dances right beside the fence but I know that is not your cup of tea. Thanks Red.
    Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

  • PerthDailyPhoto

    That is the best idea, you could really let your inhibitions go with a fence like that, sounds like just my kind of instrument and descriptions as hilarious as always Red.

  • Jane and Lance Hattatt

    Hello:
    What a curious sight the musical fence is and, coupled with the world’s largest deckchair, we assume that the people of Winton have an eye for originality, a taste for the obscure and a sense of humour.

    We are pleased to have found you via the comment you left with us and have so enjoyed reading through your most eclectic and interesting past posts. We look forward to following your progress and hope that we shall welcome you back to our blog again in the future to follow our adventures.

  • @Magsx2 – The more you look, the more you find!!
    @Windsmoke – That’d make an interesting little documentary now, wouldn’t it??!! But so far, no one’s owning up to it!!
    @Sailor – the next step is to actually see it!
    @LV – why, thank you!
    @Mrs Tuna – patience, my friend. Patience …

  • @foottrackerluvya – Welcome! Now you’ll be able to see what you missed! Drop back anytime!!!
    @Ciccia – it sure is! But did he find anything like this??!!
    @Lilly – happily no one was around to hear my unique sound (that’s an overly generous description) – but I WAS waiting for the wires to break in protest!!!
    @Kath – who indeed?? Warning – Spoilers – Winton is ALSO home to the world’s only museum dedicated to a song … look out for a future post!
    @Linda – you said it, my friend! Thanx for coming back!!

  • @Andrew – well, they’ve already got the World’s biggest deckchair …
    @Kathy – there sure is a world of difference between your and my neck of the woods, isn’t there!!!
    @Cathy WWK – yes, and it’s my mission to track them all down AND share them! So … be warned!!
    @Mary – I’m just a regular little Pollyanna!! And if you believe that … well, I have a bridge to sell you!!!
    @TGN – well, you won’t be finding that kind of thing among the snow/ice/reindeer in Finland!!

  • What? No bathroomss?

  • Never a dull post from you and your great land.

  • This is really interesting and I have come across about it only from your blog!
    Cruise Pictures

  • We sure do have a unique collection of weird, wonderful and big attractions in OZ. I wonder how many aspiring musicians went on to bigger things after playing the musical fence? :-).

  • Hi,
    I have never heard of the musical fence, very interesting, but weird at the same time. 🙂
    Only in OZ as they say.

  • This is too cool!

  • Who’da thought that a musical fence would, in fact, outshine the World’s Largest Deckchair??

  • WOW, a singing fence – now that sparks my interest and am wondering if you played the guitar and created your own unique sound on the fence – I am sure if I played, the fence would shut down with the awkward out of tune play. ha,ha Your posts are always so interesting – the way you write, its almost like we are there with you.
    thanks n cheers
    Lilly

  • My brother visited Australia for three weeks and he showed me pictures…it’s a wonderful place!

  • foottrackerluvya

    I lived in Australia before but never really got to travel around outside of Melbourne. It is very interesting to see Queensland.

  • TexaGermaNadian

    Too cool, very interesting place. I love that you know so much about these little towns that most people would have never heard of. Thanks for the mini OZ vacation today!

  • That is a really unique tourist attraction. It’s a shame you trailer bound by the weather.I suspect you have the kind of personality that can make the best of the worst situations. Here comes the sun…
    Blessings…Mary

  • Cathy at Wives with Knives

    Hmmm, very interesting. I must say that Australia has a lot of unusual tourist sites. Love the description of the fence as a giant guitar.

  • A musical fence is certainly unique. Children & adults alike would really have fun with that. Thanks for sharing that bit of information.
    Thanks for dropping by to visit my blog, too.

  • Couldn’t the town just have built something big, like everywhere else?

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