This seven-CD compendium introduces the listener to six complete repertories of wangga, showcasing the beauty, depth and diversity of these didgeridoo-accompanied public dance-songs originating in the Daly region of northwest Australia. The most important singers/composers of the region share their haunting melodies, danceable rhythms and authoritative interpretations and translations of \songs originally composed in various languages, including Batjamalh, Emmi-Mendhe and Marri Tjavin/Marri Ammu – all of which are now severely endangered. Themes of the songs often concern interactions between the living and the dead, including dreams in which deceased ancestors appear to teach the composer new songs, which would later be performed in funerals and other ceremonies marking the human lifecycle as well as on various other public occasions such as corroborees for tourists. Together with the companion book, For the Sake of a Song: Wangga Songmen and their Repertories (Sydney University Press, 2013), the work represents the culmination of 30 years of collaborative research by the singers, their communities, musicologists Allan Marett and Linda Barwick, and linguist Lysbeth Ford.
Allan Marett is professor emeritus of musicology at the University of Sydney.
Linda Barwick is a musicologist collaborating with First Nations communities in Australia since 1985 and Italian communities since 1979. She is currently Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney, Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Lysbeth Ford is an honorary research associate in the linguistics department at the University of Sydney.
"I am not aware of any compilation of recordings as comprehensive as this one on any other song genre of Aboriginal Australia. Marett, Barwick and Ford's deep involvement with the people of the Daly River area and their intimate knowledge of the songs, exemplified by Marett's becoming an accomplished performer of wangga, present us with a true labour of love and a great contribution towards interdisciplinary research."
Grace Koch Yearbook for Traditional Music
Copyright: © 2016
Publication: 22 Nov 2016
Series: Indigenous Music, Language and Performing Arts