Tract is a work for 15 instruments that is intended to be performed alongside the manikay Djupalwarra (song cycle Wild Blackfella) by the Young Wägilak Group from Ngukurr, Arnhem Land, led by Benjamin Wilfred, with the optional addition of an improviser. The idea for a work that combines traditional Aboriginal songs and contemporary Western instrumental music came from Paul Grabowsky. My solution to the obvious challenges in such a combination was to compose a self-contained work that doesn’t attempt to co-ordinate its material directly with the given manikay. Rather, I have adopted some of the more perceptible musical processes employed in this song cycle, such as repeated descending lines embellished with improvised melismata, as the point of connection between the two musics. In my realisation, the higher voices of the ensemble reiterate these descending lines, while the lower voices invert this pattern. The three sections of the ensemble (strings, woodwind, percussion/piano) traverse the same basic material, but at different internal tempi and with different pitch divisions. This reflects the inexact repetition employed by the Young Wägilak Group in their singing, as well as the overriding conceptual metaphor for this work; ‘tract’ understood both as a stretch of land/time as well as a religious text, explored in ever finer detail to gain deeper knowledge of the material and spiritual fabric of our surroundings. My inclusion as an improviser in this performance is intended to provide a link between the ensemble and the Young Wägilak Group, with whom I have worked for several years as a member of the Australian Art Orchestra’s Crossing Roper Bar project.