Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the following article contains images of deceased persons.
The winner of the 14th annual AMP (Australian Music Prize) is Gurrumul with his album Djarimirri (Child Of The Rainbow).
Four years in the making and completed less than a month before Gurrumul’s passing in 2017, Djarimirri (Child Of The Rainbow) is now deemed the Best Australian Album of 2018, based solely on artistic merit, as decided by the 21-person panel comprising artists, journalists, retailers, programmers and more.
“Gurrumul’s voice – renowned for its clarity and depth – soars solo and in dual harmonies alongside orchestral accompaniments (primarily deep strings, timpani, brass and mallet percussion) which mimic the way a didgeridoo’s circular inflections comb through its drone of sound.” – STACK‘s Zoë Radas
During shortlist nominee speeches this afternoon, the record’s producer and friend of Gurrumul, Michael Hohnen, stated: “We tried to make an album that would last forever like his culture has, and continues to do so.”
Zoë wrote of the release last year: “Every track is a testament to the late icon’s craft, but the ones which stand out, in particular, are Baru (Saltwater Crocodile), which uses deep kettle drums, shivering strings and uneasy horns to convey the mystery of Gurrumul’s totem; Ngarrpiya (Octopus) which features otherworldly viola, gong, and Gurrumul’s voice emerging, just like the song’s subject, from “a place deep in the sea”; the duelling, triumphant horns of Galiku (Flag) are the best example of the album’s rhythmic intricacy; and the title track Djarimirri (Child Of The Rainbow) mines all the beauty of the wind section alongside sunshower glockenspiel and possibly the most exultant vocals you’ve ever heard Gurrumul produce, to speak of the rainbow-coloured light which shines from the rainbow serpent’s scales, and her call to her child.”
The esteemed panel of judges shaved an impressive 85-strong longlist (the longest ever) down to just nine albums earlier this year. Gurrumul’s stunning Djarimirri (Child Of The Rainbow) has beaten the likes of Courtney Barnett, Tell Me How You Really Feel and The Presets, Hi Viz for the award, which is valued at $30,000.