The West Macs audio collections
The MacDonnell Ranges - colloquially shortened to The West Macs - are a group of stunning mountains in Australia’s remote Northern Territory, covering more than 9 million acres (Straya - she’s bloody big, mate). We’ve never been to the West Macs, but after stumbling across this little audio curiosity, we feel like we’ve heard their beating heart. These brief recordings, presumably produced for tourists - there are several dozen of them, each only a minute or two long - are first-person accounts of the local history and people. Grouped into collections around a theme, there are stories from rangers and historians, but we particularly recommend the Dreamtime and All Culture Stories collections, in which Arrarnta people give accounts of their traditional mythologies and bush lore. Passed between generations, these are tales of powerful magic and transformation, as well as practical matters of survival in the desert (zebra finches, for example, will lead you to water).
Available online, or on the iTunes store (search for The West Macs). Start at the beginning of any collection and allow each story to roll on.