Uncle Herb Patten
It takes many years of practice to play the leaf well, and Herb first learned to play as a small boy after watching his great uncle Lindsay Thomas blowing leaves in the bush at Newmerella, via Orbost, Victoria. Lindsay had been a member of the Lake Tyers Gumleaf Band. Herb, an artist and a practical promoter of reconciliation, was influenced by the gumleaf band at Lake Tyers.
Herb lived in Narooma from time to time and drew on the cultural tradition of the Wallaga Lake gumleaf band, which operated for up to eight decades from the beginning of the 20th century. Herb especially loved the sound of the white-bellied sea eagle and he produces many birdcalls of the Narooma district on his leaf …
He published “How to Play the Gumleaf” in 1999 with Currency Press after collaborating with musicologists at Monash University, Victoria, and was runner-up in the Seven Network’s inaugural “Australia’s Got Talent” reality series in 2007 https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6kq003
Herb’s multi-media exploration of gumleaf music garnered him a Master of Arts degree through the Koori Cohort, School of Education at RMIT University Melbourne in 2007.
Come and enjoy the nationally acclaimed skills and stories of this local legend.