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It's been a rich week for lovers of indigenous music.

On Tuesday (14 August) in Maningrida I attended the launch of the new Wurrurrumi Kun-borrk CD from Sydney University Press (which you can order online). In attendance were the songman Kevin Djimarr and notes-writer Murray Garde.

To quote the blurb on the flyer:

Kevin Djimarr, one of Western Arnhem Land’s pre-eminent composer-performers, presents a complete repertory of traditional kun-borrk songs from the Maningrida area. The album was recorded with the support of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and Maningrida Arts. Murray Garde's extensive notes, which accompany the audio CD, include authoritative translations and explanations of Djimarr’s song texts. They open up this extraordinary music to a national and international audience, while remaining true to Djimarr’s own particular artistic vision, communicating in a lively and accessible fashion the unique qualities of his work.

The CD is the first in a new series from the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia. We are currently seeking funding to enable us to continue the series: please let us know of any thoughts!

On Friday night (17 August), the University of Sydney's own Professor of Musicology, Allan Marett, is presenting a free public talk as part of the Darwin Festival, "Why should we know about Aboriginal music?" Location: MAGNT Theatrette, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT, Date / Time: 17 August 2007, from 4.30pm.

And as I write we are gearing up for the 6th Symposium on Indigenous Music and Dance, hosted by Charles Darwin University's School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems, to be held on Saturday 18 August at Charles Darwin University's Casuarina Campus (Building 22 room 01). Registration is free but please do so online.
This will be a fantastic event, with participation by a number of indigenous performers.

Here's the programme :

SATURDAY 18 August
Building 22 room 01, Charles Darwin University (CDU), Casuarina Campus

Time Event
9.00 – 9.10 Welcome to Country
9.10-9.20 Wendy Brady (Head, School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge System, CDU)
Welcome to Charles Darwin University
9.15-9.30 Allan Marett (University of Sydney and CDU)
Overview of Symposium
9.30-10.00 Joe Neparrnga Gumbula (University of Sydney)
Following the Voices of Ancestors
10.00-10.30 Aaron Corn (University of Sydney)
Budutthun Ratja Wiyinymirri: Formal Flexibility in the Manikay Tradition of North-East Arnhem Land
10.30-11.00 Morning Tea
11.00-11.30 Lysbeth Ford (University of Sydney and University of Tasmania)
Lirrga songs from Wadeye
11.30-12.30 David Manmurulu, Linda Barwick (University of Sydney) and Isabel O’Keeffe
(University of Melbourne) The Inyjalarrku (mermaid) songs as performed at Warruwi (South Goulburn
12.30-2.00 Lunch (Delegates to make own arrangements)
2.00-2.30 Myfany Turpin (CDU and University of Queensland), M K Turner and Jenny Green
Integrating research with cultural maintenance: initial stages of the Arandic Songs Project
2.30-3.00 Sally Treloyn (University of Sydney and CDU)
Jadmi ngalanyba ngadinya: singing jadmi songs (north central Kimberley, WA)
3.00-3.30 Michael Walsh (University of Sydney)
Packing it in: an account of layers of meaning in the 'floating pelican' song, a Murriny Patha (northern Australia) song
3.30-4.00 Afternoon tea
Darwin launch of Wurrurrumi: Kunborrk songs from Western Arnhem Land by Kevin Djimarr (CD 1 in the series The Indigenous Music of Australia). To be launched by Wendy Brady
4.00-5.00 Murray Garde (University of Melbourne) with the White Cockatoo dance group
The Wardbukkarra song from the Bongolinj-bongolinj series
5.00 Allan Marett
Summary and Close of Symposium


In addition to the projects covered in the seminar programme, the Warlpiri project (listed in the NRP page) is featured in an article 'Following the songlines' which appeared on Friday in the ANU Reporter, Winter 2007.

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