Ngarukuruwala

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Ngarukuruwala - we sing songs

Our first recording, done across 4 days in the old church at Wurrumiyanga (Nguiu), Bathurst Island, in 2008. We had been friends for one year but had only spent about two weeks together on and off, workshopping ideas. Our rough plan was that each song would lead us wherever it took us. The women and the band had great fun re-inventing some of the ladies’ favourite songs – always in Tiwi language, but in different styles, from country to gospel to jazz and back again!

Extra instrumentals were added in Sydney and we reckon it encapsulates the informal, honest and essentially collaborative nature of our music. We were thrilled to win Best Traditional Music recording for 2008 at the NT Indigenous Music Awards.

Ngariwanajirri - The Strong Kids Song

This is the result of a series of sessions across the three communities on Bathurst and Melville Islands – Wurrumiyanga, Milikapiti and Pirlangimpi in 2010/11. The old ladies spent time with children between 5 and 16, talking about life, culture, identity and what it is to be Tiwi today. Together the kids came up with lyrics for a song that reflected all their ideas (mostly in English, but in Tiwi when they could).

The women then composed those into song-text in old and modern Tiwi language and then went back to each town to teach the kids their song – in a few variations to include the melodies that belong to each place. The result is fun and vibrant with young and old voices singing together. The compact disc is a hybrid and will play a ‘video clip’ that we made of the process.

Ngiya awungarra - I am here, now

Ethnographic recordings of Tiwi song material, made between 1912 and 1981, were repatriated to the Tiwi community from the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra in 2010.

This was a moving experience for Tiwi Elders as they heard the recorded voices of great-grandfathers, parents and even their younger selves, for the first time. This work features selected recordings from that archive in a series of ‘duets’ between the ancestor and current musician/s.

This CD is released through Undercover Music