Last year we lost an Australian musical icon in Dr G Yunupingu, aka Gurrumul. However, he has left us an amazing musical legacy – plus an astonishing new album.
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island readers of this article are advised that it contains images and links to voices of people who have died.
Inspired by composers ranging from the early baroque to Stravinsky, Arvo Part, Phillip Glass, Michael Nyman, Max Richter and others, this is the final chapter of the story of Gurrumul. It took over four years to make, and was finished only week’s before his passing.
April 13 will see the release of Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow), and we have our first taste of the album via the track Djolin (Musical Instrument).
Long-time musical collaborator and friend, Michael Hohnen, says of the album: “Last year we sat and listened to these recordings over and over again, from beginning to end and piece by piece, pulling them apart and putting them back together until all elements shone. We had finished the incredible process, preparing to release it and then we lost him. The album aligns Australian traditional music alongside a European mainstream pop/classical tradition with complex but subtle changes and repetition in the orchestral parts.”
In other news, a documentary film simply entitled Gurrumul will have a cinema release on April 25.