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.