Gnarnayarrahe Waitairie, Claim And Pundulumura
By Robin Ryan
Gnarnayarrahe Waitairie and Indjibundji Culture
His story is old
is bold and right as the earth he walks
it don't move, it just bides its time
it always stays
the story was told
- David Bridie (1)
These lines from Terra Nullius, the penultimate track of Not Drowning, Waving's 1989 album Claim could well be mistaken for a testimonial to Aboriginal elder Gnarnayarrahe Inmurry Waitairie(2). This article examines the cultural traditions which have informed Gnarnayarrahe's musical and performance career to date and analyses the nature of his collaborations with Not Drowning, Waving on their Claim album, and with Italian-Australian vocalist Joe Dolce on the stage musical Pundulumura. Through this, I will attempt to argue that Claim and Pundulmura represent significant projects which enable us to understand just how far an ancient people have had to adapt to a new culture, often at the cost of their own spiritual integrity.
Gnarnayarrahe hails from Roebourne, Western Australia, a gaggle of tin-roofed, asbestos-clad cottages and old colonial stone houses astride the Harding River. He was born in a paperbark-lined hole on the banks of the river, between a wattle and a gum tree. A little blue joey kangaroo came over at the time of Gnarnayarrahe's birth, inspiring his first name and totem. Waitairie means 'born beside a spring in the Dreamtime'. Mothers represented the bloodline of the Indjibundji(3) tribe and Gnarnayarrahe was therefore named by his mother. Taken away from his parents at the age of four, he was placed in a Church of Christ Home and renamed Trevor Phillips by missionaries. Struggle has marked Gnarnayarrahe's life ever since the first time that he ran away from the Home, returned to the tribe and was subsequently recaptured. During the numerous escapes which followed, Gnarnayarrahe mastered an age-old repertoire of Indjibundji songs, dances and tribal lore taught to him by his grandfather. Until nineteen he persisted in speaking his native dialect (in spite of beatings by authorities) and, although sometimes still referred to as 'Trevor' or 'Stony', he retains great pride in the totem name given him by his mother(4).
Prior to white colonisation, Gnarnayarrahe's ancestors occupied an area of 5,000 square miles on the lower Hamersley Range plateau, where they hunted without restriction. Their customs and ceremonies included hunting success rites (with songs) called junguri. Indjibundji corroborees included hunting chants, fables, dance and sacred music. Non-ceremonial songs performed by male individuals with paired stick-beating accompaniments were also common to the clan. Individual dream-inspired songs were accompanied by the scraping of a mirrimba (fork) over a notched walbarra (spear-thrower), the latter being held like a violin and bow. Brandenstein suspected that Portuguese contact in the early sixteenth century may have been responsible for this violin-like instrument (1970: 12)(5); as well as the plaintive five-toned modes of some individually-composed tabi songs which, on the basis of comparative linguistics, seem reminiscent of old European folk-songs (and possibly off-shoots of the minstrel bards of medieval times [1970: viii])(6).
Gnarnayarrahe recounts that in his youth, in spite of traumatic experiences of dislocation, he received 'promptings' by his Dreamtime ancestors, who gave him strength, courage and purpose(7). He gradually developed into a songman, dancer, artist, storyteller, bushman and tracker of great personal aptitude and motivation and, in his mid-twenties, learnt the didjeridu from King Wally of Broome. Although his inner cultural space was partly filled with the repertoire of Western hymnody during his childhood, Gnarnayarrahe has remained steadfast in his determination to retain the songs and dances which delineate Indjibundji culture. With both tribal and non-tribal modes of music partitioned off in his mind, he is therefore both bilingual and bimusical; an example of what Slobin refers to as a "cross-over musician" (68)(8). Indeed, Gnarnayarrahe personifies black/white musical exchange in Australia, having won many awards for performances in both traditional and country and western idioms. His involvement with the band Stony Broke and the Hi-Spenders in both Queensland and Victoria earned him the nickname 'Stony'. The band played country music, blues and Sixties rock numbers for pubs, weddings and parties; and featured in the 1984 Rock Against Racism concert in Melbourne. Gnarnayarrahe and his partner Ponjydfljydu also operated as the close-harmony duo Dreamtime Walkabouts in pubs and cafes around Melbourne in the early 1990s, and co-founded the Indjibundji Tribal Aboriginal Cultural Dance School (ITAC) in July 1985. During 1988, Gnarnayarrahe was lead actor in Ray Mooney's play Black Rabbit at the Victorian Arts Centre, and in 1990 was puppeted for the Jack Davis play Widartji. He has performed as a representative of Melbourne City Council in Boston (USA) and has also toured New Zealand. He also enjoys improvising 'classical-style' music at the piano.
Diversity has become a strength for Gnarnayarrahe and his various experiences have made it possible for him to act as a freelance performer within many (inter)cultural contexts. His favourite occupation, busking, earned him the title of 'World's Best Busker' at a competition held in Coff's Harbour (NSW) in 1992. One of Gnarnayarrahe's busking techniques entails the retreat into buffoonery; he makes audacious gestures such as aping a mongrel or a staggering drunkard. His street appearances in the 1993 Melbourne Comedy Festival began with the line 'I'm black and I'm back!' and concluded with his knee-shaking skit on Elvis. Various antics which Gnarnayarrahe calls 'Aboriginal rap' (a skit on the traditional Northern Australian 'shake-a-leg' dance) and 'bush ballet' are for him the buffoon's way of handling pain and loss. The gradual demise of his culture at the hands of both government and soft-steal institutions has had dire ramifications, shades of which are reflected by David Bridie in these haunting lines:
Shame the legends crack the paint upon his face
his knees at dance and they fly and they sing
the poet woman has changed her name in shame
- Terra Nullius
Bridie - keyboard player and vocalist with NDW - met Gnarnayarrahe by chance at an Arts Access barbeque in Melbourne in 1989. Little did Bridie realize the extent to which Gnarnayarrahe's subsequent contribution to the provocative, liquid title track of NDW's album Claim would authenticate the anti-colonial subtitle of the album: "Take a person away from their place and their story goes also". Indeed Gnarnayarrahe's personal life can be viewed as a poignant symbol of nostalgic estrangement from home, the poetic heart of Claim. Truth is stranger than fiction when it comes to intercultural creativity and its tuggings, however; although Bridie's lyrical inspiration preceeded his meeting with Gnarnayarrahe, his poem accurately portrays his life.
Claim's title directly refers to the formal British assertion that the great South land was terra nullius(9) - vacant land which could therefore be taken by virtue of a right. In the light of the Mabo legislation passed at the end of 1993, the album's theme remains topical today; and the music itself (produced partly by unconventional instruments and sound tools) evokes a sense of place which is all but magical. As an all-white Victorian rock band NDW have fought shy of the style-tag of 'ambient music' afforded to them in their early career, hoping that their more challenging and dynamic approaches might be appreciated as something more significant than background music. It is not possible to characterise the style of Claim however, without highlighting its environmental 'aura'. Although all the tracks merit analysis, this article will concentrate on Terra Nullius and the title track - the two items which exploit the talents of Gnarnayarrahe. Although NDW's 'style' has now travelled and developed across a number of albums, Claim might best be cast as a subtly political work of art, 'impressionist rock' with an individual flavour.
The single Willow Tree, coupled with Claim as its b-side, was released in April 1989 on the Mighty Boy label. The album was released in CD, cassette and LP formats in May. The band then took to the road to promote it, touring Australia's eastern seaboard with Gondwanaland as support act(10). Gondwanaland's didjeridu player Charlie McMahon joinned NDW on-stage to perform two numbers and also appeared with the band in songs featured on television programs such as Channel Nine's Newsworld and the ABC's Countdown (11). The album and tour received favourable press reviews, with the Sydney Morning Herald, for example, lauding the "acute sense of poetry" in Claim (12). Its subsequent release in North America in 1990 was however, unsuccessful, due to lack of promotion. When NDW signed a contract with EastWest Records for the release of Tabaran in 1991, EastWest took over Claim as well, marketing it in CD and cassette formats (with an added extended ['Micronesian'] remix of the song Palau (13) ).
The artistic history and intent behind Claim stems from a period when various members of the band were approaching and exploring different sounds from different cultures, especially those of traditional instruments (even though they were still locked into Western tuning systems(14)). In the aftermath of Aboriginal resistance to the 1988 Bicentenary, NDW were also, like many other white Australians at the time, attempting to come to terms with Aboriginal issues. Bridie's subtitle to the album was inspired by a story describing the once-in-a-lifetime trek of a Western Australian tribe into the harsh environment of Central Australia (15). The cover, designed like all previous sleeves by drummer Russel Bradley, vividly captures the earthy feel of Claim. Using a photo of the rock face of King's Canyon in the Northern Territory (a place which is important to Aboriginal people in the area) Bradley superimposed human figures (symbolising ownership) and grass on fire near Uluru (Ayers Rock). Rendered in colours which have become associated with Aboriginal culture, the sleeve design was further enhanced by the addition of blue typesetting and an eye-catching blue dingo.
The basic tracks for the album were recorded at the Sing Sing Studio(16) and were then mixed and overdubbed at Fast Forward and Platinum studios by sound engineer Tim Cole. The writing, recording and production of the album proceeded in the loose, flexible fashion which NDW had evolved over their previous albums. Their approach is based on a teamwork which eschews set formulae and the production of Claim typifies this. With some tracks Bridie's poems were the initial catalyst for the spontaneous production of sounds in their embryonic form, whereas with other tracks, the words were suggested by the sounds. The percolation of the various live acoustic sounds and pre-recorded tapes deserves closer scrutiny, inasmuch as it bears on the cumulative growth of the tracks Claim and Terra Nullius.
Terra Nullius took embryonic shape when NDW 'jammed' over some foretracks. The latter were recorded by percussionist James Southall, and included 'grooves' (patterns set up on the congas) and 'feels' (basic musical ideas which lend themselves to further exploitation). Various other members of the band then worked on these with Cole, who was, at the time, very much into experimental music and the creation of 'atmospheres'(17). One of his more effective contributions, in this regard, was his ingenious feeding in of a tape of 'footsteps' into the mix of Terra Nullius, giving an eerie impression of someone walking across a desert.
The track's evolving soundscape was further enhanced when Cole added cockatoo calls which he had taped on the Murray River; Southall recorded the sounds of an Indian straw broom which rustled when caught in his hands; and Bradley not only recorded himself walking over and shaking branches of gum leaves but even set them on fire to tape the crackling sounds of their burning. His use of leaves as a sound source was highly appropriate for the track - and the album's address to Aboriginal issues - since foliage was used by many Aboriginal tribes as a sound tool. In many areas of South East Australia, for instance, Aborigines used to tie branches to their legs and arms and sometimes held small branches of leaves during dances and ceremonies (Crotty: 9). The Kurnai (Gunai ) also used to quiver their foliaged arms and legs rapidly so as to produce a rustling sound (Fison and Howitt: 196). The track also features the foreboding sound of dingo howls and whines. These were not simulated by a synthesiser, as one might suspect, but were produced by what is described inside the CD sleeve as 'humdrum squeals'. These consisted of reverberations of high-pitched sounds which Southall produced on the harmonica, together with sound effects produced on the 'humdrum' - a Tasmanian-made glockenspiel consisting of a wooden-framed box with a 'bent lid' top, the pitch of which is varied by rubbing a mallet up and down the exterior side. The 'feels' which Southall came up with on these instruments were fed through and wound around the other sounds during mixing.(18)
Given this highly experimental approach, it is therefore not surprising that the title track Claim actually 'grew' out of a remix of Terra Nullius which omitted the piano part and vocals and, together with further instrumentation, became a separate piece. One of the most mysterious sound elements on the track is the sudden, sinister thud of punctuation at the end. Cole recalls that the clunk just 'happened' at the end point of the multi-track, where he would normally have faded out or 'looped out' in the customary way. Where the clunk came from is anyone's guess (perhaps a door slamming?), but a perfect accident as far as the success of the track goes.
Yet the cream on the cake was still to come. After his fortuitous encounter with Bridie, 'Uncle Gnan-ya' (as Gnarnayarrahe became affectionately known by NDW) was invited to put down three of his own tracks at Sing-Sing studios, for the band to incorporate into their compositions. These consisted of a continuous didjeridu rhythm pattern (performed to a drum machine conga pattern fed through his headphones); a track of vocal impressions of bird calls and animal sounds (including dingo barks to complement the howls and whines already on the tracks); and an exploration of sounds on the bilma - clapsticks (19). In their attempts to blend this material with tracks already laid down by the band, Cole and Southall found that the fundamental didjeridu tone clashed with the pitches of Terra Nullius (the didjeridu had not, after all, been part of Southall's original idea for the number), but balanced out when superimposed over Claim. The bilma, on the other hand, enhanced Terra Nullius, when added separately to the vocals.
Given that he only contributed to two tracks, Gnarnayarrahe's contribution to the album might appear to have been somewhat to be peripheral; the nature of the collaboration being shaped by the friendly cultural dominance (20) of a white band over a single black recruit, employed for specifically delimited purposes. On what might be termed the 'metaphysical' level however, the dense, dark droning of the didjeridu carried with it the spirituality and mystique of another history and another imagination - as well as symbolic import in rendering the 'loss of place' in sound. In this manner Claim is a culture-specific example of what Paul Friedlander described (with particular regard to the very different example of The Grateful Dead in live performance) as "personal, cultural and 'cosmic' rituals in tight embrace" (21).
Although we might choose to identify problems with the ideology apparently informing (and determining the limited nature of) the collaboration, it is perhaps more appropriate (and fair) to register regret that the initial meeting between Bridie and Gnarnayarrahe occurred when the album was almost complete; and to note the financial restrictions on the band at the time of their Mighty Boy contract which militated against their subsequently taking Gnarnayarrahe on tour with them. Gnarnayarrahe did however perform with NDW following the official launch of Claim at the Old Greek Theatre, Richmond, where he mesmerised the audience with his jokes, and talked with people until the early hours of the morning (22). The band also have fond memories of 'Uncle Gnan-ya' sitting on the mixing desk at the end of his recording session and singing country-and-western songs off the cuff for about half an hour (23).These were possibly the most enriching moments in the band's collaboration with Gnarnayarrahe, and anticipated the 'buddy' nature of their impending relationship with PNG musicians on the Tabaran recording sessions in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea (see Hutton: 18-19).
The committed collaboration which shaped Tabaran was, in my view, matched by Gnarnayarrahe and Joe Dolce in their bicultural creation of the musical drama Pundulumura (Two Trees Together), which opened at La Mama, Melbourne on July 11, 1990. The humorous juxtaposition of Western and non-Western elements in this satire secured it further seasons at the New Boundary Hotel, East Melbourne, and at the 1991 Festival of Sydney (where the show also the incorporated the talents of Ponjydfljydu and Linn Van Hek). Dolce is a 'fringe' or 'alternative' cabaret performer whose infamous single Shaddap You Face crossed over from a cabaret ditty to an international hit, selling four million copies in 1980. An incisive social commentary on Italian stereotypes which evolved from an 'over-the-edge' show staged at Fitzroy's Flying Trapeze Café (Gill: 5), Shaddap You Face underwent further 'crossover' in Pundulumura, being 'sent up' accelerando in Indjibundji dialect, to great comic effect (24).
The play begins in seductive half light with Gnarnayarrahe chanting hypnotically, but suddenly we are dumped from the Dreamtime into the nightmare of the city. 'Two trees growing together' (a reference to Gnarnayarrahe's birth spot) describes the two characters who become friends through discovering their own identities and begin to appreciate the beauty of each other's cultures through dialogue and musical interaction. The songs, some of which I witnessed being created via spontaneous jamming, give credence to a maxim by Lomax that, cultural difference, as espoused in song, is not threatening, but attractive, for a prime function of song is to bring people together. Only from a firm understanding of one's own culture can the individual move to secure creative personal growth (48)
Indeed Pundulumura was a true example of cultural exchange on a person-to-person level because as well as containing new songs by Dolce, slow country ballads by Gnarnayarrahe, and songs in Western popular idioms composed through the joint efforts of both men and their female partners Ponjydfljydu and Van Hek; it gave Gnarnayarrahe the opportunity to perform his traditional tribal songs and dances both in 'authentic'(25) and experimental modes. The Welcome Song, for example, is a traditional 'prelude', its social function being to invite clan members to a narninga or gathering on the banks of the river. Foot stamping and a shrill parrot call (territorial signal) add to the song's immediacy and spark.The River Boat Song, a dance expressing the men's determination to starve so that the women and children of the tribe will not suffer, bears testimony to Brandenstein's description of Indjibundji songs as being "like desert orchids, inconspicuous, faint-scented, but full of beauty for him [sic] who opens heart and mind" (Brandenstein and Thomas 1974: ii). Gnarnayarrahe usually interprets the second verse as softer and weaker in mood, with the third verse strongly reaffirming the men's original intent. A long chain of history marks Indjibundji use of the Fortescue, Yule, Robe, and Harding Rivers, and this again returns us to Bridie's uncanny knack for (unwittingly?) capturing the 'otherworldliness' of an Aboriginal past:
Cool river bed it masks the bones
of those who died before our time
made their claim before
Gnarnayarrahe himself echoed a similar theme in the poem Just a Tree, which he co-wrote with his niece Virginia Drury:
The world around us will scream,
but that was a long time ago.
I've grown tired and old,
and I'm on my own,
just a tree.
I once was a part of this life.
onw I'm just a relic
standing in the ground.
Once was a part of
this great land.(26)
The lyrics of Gnarnayarrahe's own country-and-western song Which Way Do I Go? relate to his dual ethnicity(27). Having experienced disorientation and emotional isolation on arrival in Melbourne, one of Gnarnayarrahe's dreams was "to be an Aboriginal person who never loses his identity,to be strong, to create public awareness for all people, and to help his urban brothers and sisters understand their culture" (Pundulumura programme notes). Technology impinged upon and added to this emphasis with the the multi-track recording of an Indjibundji item, the exotic Grandfather's Song(28) for the album version of Pundulumura (1991) which includes the addition of environmental 'effects', reflecting in sound the 'dreamtime to machinetime' change which has taken place in one lifetime(29).
In this article I have examined the symbolism and collaboration behind the last two tracks of the Claim album, and followed it with a description of one of Gnarnayarrahe's more full-blooded collaborations in another bicultural context. The specific performing media of Pundulumura and Claim were quite different, and one factor which arises from the comparison is that Gnarnayarrahe sparkles more as a live performer with recourse to spontaneity in his musical act. Although he aurally (and, arguably, spiritually) 'validated' and enhanced the intent behind the Claim album, the free reign of his capacities were untapped by NDW. It is perhaps a matter of regret that the band's association with Gnarnayarrahe, mainly under recording studio conditions, was relatively fleeting and superficial, and thereby unable to approach the collaborative 'halfway mark' defined by Webb (11). (And indeed, none of the NDW members I interviewed for this article were au fait with the basic details of Gnarnayarrahe's history or, for that matter, very aware of the extent of his achievements in the face of that history). There is no doubt, however, that this accidental inclusion of a (peripheral) Aboriginal performer exoticised the musical and cultural project of the Claim album(30). In this light, Claim can also be seen as a stepping stone in the development of NDW's cultural politics, and in particular that facet which Hayward terms "collaboration as reparation" (83). Following their work on Claim NDW went on to extend their involvement with indigenous musicians, not just in PNG, but in concerts featuring Aboriginal performers in their home city of Melbourne(31).
Although NDW did not adopt the overt cultural-political activism of bands such as Midnight Oil, their muted cross-cultural foray with Gnarnayarrahe was framed by a creative approach to musical composition and the use of studio technology which set them apart from the average Australian pop band. For Gnarnayarrahe, the collaborations with NDW and Joe Dolce demonstrated that a tribal background, albeit incomplete, still cements identity; it is a positive factor in creativity and can lead to robust experiments in musical fusion. More than anything else, this analysis highlights the possibilities for pop musicians to respond more thoughtfully to the open-ended nature of popular music as (a potential) multicultural enterprise.
(Thanks to Gnarnayarrahe Waitairie for authorising me to publish his story: and to Mark Bishop, Russel Bradley, David Bridie, Timothy Cole and James Southall for contributing their perspectives on Claim.)
Bostock, W.W. (1977) Alternatives of Ethnicity. Immigrants and Aborigines in Anglo-Saxon Australia. Hobart: Cat and Fiddle Press
Brandenstein, C.G. von (1970) Narratives from the N.W. of W.A. in the Ngarluma and Jindjiparndi Language. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (3 volumes)
Brandenstein, C.G. von and Thomas, A.P. (1974) Taruru: Aboriginal Song Poetry from the Pilbara, Adelaide: Rigby Ltd.
Crotty, J. (1990) Traditional Aboriginal Music in South-East Australia. Historical Perceptions: Contemporary Pitfalls. Unpublished paper, Monash University
Fison, L. and Howitt, A.W. (1967) Kamilaroi and Kurnai , Oosterhout: The Netherlands Anthropological Publications (reprint of 1880 edition)
Gill, R. (1991) 'Famous for 15 Minutes', The Sunday Age Agenda, November 3
Hayward, P. (1993) 'After the Record - Tabaran, Television and the Politics of Collaboration', Perfect Beat, v1 n3, July
Hutton, T. (1993) 'Uncertain Identities: Marketing Tabaran, Perfect Beat, v1 n2, January
Kartomi, M. (1981) 'The Processes and Results of Musical Culture Contact: A Discussion of Terminology and Concepts', Ethnomusicology, v25
Kartomi, M. (1992) 'Appropriation of Music and Dance in Contemporary Ternate and Tidore', Studies in Music, n26
Lomax, A. (1976) Cantometrics: A Method in Musical Anthropology, Berkely: U.C. Extension Media Center
Malm, K. (1993) 'Music on the Move: Traditions and Mass Media', Ethnomusicology, v37 n3
Mitchell, T. (1993) 'World Music and the Popular Music Industry: An Australian View', Ethnomusicology, v37 n3
Slobin, M. (1992) 'Micromusics of the West: A Comparative Approach', Ethnomusicology, v36 n1
Tindale, N.B. (1974) Aboriginal Tribes of Australia., San Francisco: University of California Press
Webb, M. (1993) 'Tabaran: Intercultural Exchange, Participation and Collaboration,' Perfect Beat, v1 n2, January
Not Drowning, Waving Claim, EW, 1991
Not Drowning, Waving and the Musicians of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea Tabaran, WEA, 1990
Joe Dolce, Linn Van Heck, Gnarnayarrahe Waitairie 1991, and Ponjydfljydu - Pundulumura (Two Trees Together), (Self released cassette album a/f: Joe Dolce, PO Box 1181, Carlton, Victoria 3053 - $15)
1 All words quoted from the song Terra Nullius have been reproduced with the permission of Loud and Clear Management Pty. Ltd.
2 The author's personal association with Gnarnayarrahe dates back to March, 1990, with research into the Indjibundji Tribal Aboriginal Dance School (ITAC). Much personal help was received from both Gnarnayarrahe and his manager Ponjydfljydu.
3 Also sometimes spelt as Indjibandji, Ingibandi, Jindjiparndi or Yingibandi. The spelling preferred by Gnarnayarrahe has been adopted for this article.
4 Gnarnayarrahe was finally reunited with his mother shortly before her death in 1993.
5 Kartomi, in her discussion on the impinging of Portuguese culture on the Malays, points out that there is no way of knowing today how various indigenous musical ideas would have influenced the original perception which Portuguese music had on freed Malay slaves, nor the performance styles which evolved in the early stages of contact. Aesthetic tastes and standards have "tended to cross cultural boundaries with far greater difficulty than have tangible objects such as musical instruments" (Kartomi: 244).
6 Tabi songs are a genre peculiar to the North-West, texts now being under a century old, with the exception of references to the ancient Maarga. Young men were taught to compose tabis during their initiation years, any man's tabis being an index to his personality. Those tabis based on three-toned recitative-like melodies were found to be related to old tribal melodies (Brandenstein and Thomas 1974: viii).
7 Conversation with the author, 1994.
8 Slobin cites how amongst Puerto Ricans smooth, skilled code-switching is emblematic of their dual identity (68).
9 "They made their claim ... Terra Nullius" (refrain from track 9 of Claim, lyrics by David Bridie).
10 Gondwanaland also supported NDW on their 1991 Tabaran tour with McMahon also jamming on several numbers.
11 ABC - The Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
12 Cutting fron NDW's press-file
13 A track which arguably continues the kinds of sonic experimentation on the tracks Claim and Terra Nullius through the use of post production.
14 Tabaran marked NDW's first attempt to break loose from Western tuning systems. They tried to tune themselves to pre-recorded pan-pipes for the track Feast, and for Cross the Highlands they attempted tuning to highland flutes (information supplied by Tim Cole on 21 Feb, 1994).
15 Cited David Bridie, phone conversation with the author, 2.7.94.
16 This was the first time NDW had used a major studio. Their previous album Cold and the Crackle had been created (and recorded through the night) at the Montsalvat Artists Colony in Eltham, Victoria.
17 He has followed this direction further since leaving NDW and is now working on music for heeling at his home studio in Blackwood, Victoria.
18 Based on a verbal communication with James Southall on 8 March, 1994. In a different context the same sounds could be interpreted as the whining of a camel or whale.
19 Described as "claves" on the album sleeve and usually referred by Gnarnayarrahe as "rhythm sticks" or "music sticks".
20 "Cultural dominance" is used here in a sense similar to that expounded in Malm: 342.
21 In his keynote address to the IASPM Australia/New Zealand Conference, Lismore (NSW) July 1994.
22 Information supplied by Russel Bradley on 21 Nov, 1993.
23 This information was given to the author by Russel Bradley on 15 Feb, 1994, and confirmed by Tim Cole on 21 Feb, 1994.
24 Securing the song its 21st foreign language version.
25 "Authenticity" is usually defined as a feature of the lost integrity of indigenous "roots" music, now commercially appropriated by global market forces (see Mitchell 1993: 309, 311).
26 Reproduced with permission, from an illustrated woodcut.
27 "Ethnicity" is a feeling of closeness between people who share a common culture, "culture" itself being the object or focus of that feeling (Bostock 1977: 1).
28 The Grandfather's Song and other tracks from Pundulumura were recorded in 1991 at Bomba Studios, Melbourne by Dolce and Cameron Craig.
29 During performances, interaction between Joe and Gnarnayarrahe even verged on the transcendental; during an improvisation between didjeridu and harmonica, for instance, Gnarnayarrahe fell into a state of trance whereby he sang freely in his own language.
30 The band now believes that their album Circus (released late in 1993) follows up Claim as items such as Penmon focus on the 'out-of-control-ness' of nature - verbal communications with Russel Bradley on 15 Feb, 1994, and former manager Mark Bishop on 18 Feb, 1994..
31 And Bridie himself has also gone on to produce material by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists such as Archie Roach and Chistine Anu.
The Pacific Journal of Research into Contemporary Music and Popular Culture