Singing to the River header

Singing to the River

Sonic Meditation

Date & Time

Sun 28 May 2023
8am – 10am


Newstead Park,
Rotunda, Area 3






All ages

Singing to the River is a sonic meditation set by the banks of the Brisbane River at Newstead Park.


This ritual musical experience will be led by Indian fusion singer, yoga & meditation teacher Menaka and supported by First Nations artist and didgeridoo player Glenn Barry, percussionist Tsoof Barras and keyboard player Meg Burstow.


The program will include guided meditations, sound healing and group chanting. A spiritually inspiring experience for all ages, Singing to the River is an interactive and uplifting program designed to support harmony and belonging.



Menaka is a Brisbane-based singer, songwriter, and teacher. While hailing from musical family deeply rooted in South Indian (Carnatic) music, her unique sound is an intersection of traditional and contemporary, East and West.


After a sudden deterioration in health that nearly claimed her vision, Menaka found herself writing songs to help her overcome her challenges. Menaka launched her debut solo album, My Eyes Can See in 2019 at the Queensland Multicultural Centre to a sold-out audience.


Menaka continues to record, perform, and teach. Her vision is to unite, connect and inspire people through music

Glenn Barry

Glenn Barry is an artist and researcher. A Gamilaraay man – the First Nation peoples of North Western NSW & Western Qld – and of Irish heritage, Glenn studied Contemporary Australian Indigenous Arts, Fine Arts and Digital Media with Honours at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. He is a PhD candidate and his research is titled “The health determinants of First Nation Music” at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.


His goal is clear communication through bridging values of both traditional and contemporary worlds: a “trademptorary” world in this 21st Century. Growing up on the Gold Coast, his focus has been the specialised educational arena of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and services.

Tsoof Baras

Tsoof Baras

Tsoof Baras is a composer, percussionist, session musician, hand drummer and graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium. He has performed as a percussionist with the QLD Pops Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Ipswich Theatre Company, Salseros, Talkin’ the Drum and Spankinhide. Tsoof is a co-founder and composer of SoundStruck, a Brisbane based percussion group dedicated to delivering high impact and entertaining percussion music with visual effects. He has travelled around the country as a percussionist, performing at large sporting events, stage shows and corporate events. He is also involved in the delivery of body percussion and drumming workshops as an individual and through Talkin’ the Drum and Rhythm Culture.


Studying in Guinea, West Africa, Tsoof has been immersed in hand drumming since childhood and is intimately involved with the hand drumming community in South-East Queensland. Tsoof now focusses his energy on developing the ensembles he is a part of, integrating years of hand drumming experience into his projects and performing as a freelance and session percussionist.

Meg Burstow

Meg Burstow

Meg Burstow is a versatile Brisbane-based pianist who enjoys a diverse career as a performer, accompanist, and educator. A Conservatorium Medallist (2018) and graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University where she studied both Classical and Jazz Piano, Meg is now a sought-after session musician and collaborator in a broad range of styles including jazz, pop, salsa, musical theatre, and Indian fusion music.


As a soloist, she performs regularly for corporate events and private functions, with past clients including QANTAS, Queensland Government, and Griffith University. She is currently engaged as a piano teacher at St Laurence’s College and as a sessional choral accompanist at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.



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Tax deductible donations can be made via the festival’s Australian Cultural Fund platform. Your donation will assist with cost across a range of areas, including production, marketing & administration, and research & documentation.


In 2023, The Ground Beneath Us will:

  • employ over 20 artists, 12 arts workers, an assistant producer & documentary film maker
  • generate new music, musical forms & stories, multimode artworks, disseminate ancient wisdom & contemporary research
  • link artists from across cultures & genres with researchers, community leaders & the public to develop & promote ideas & perspectives that will nurture our culture.


We are grateful for all contributions, small & large. 🙏

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