|09-19-2008, 08:03 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2008
Gurrumel by Geoffrey Gurrumel Yunupingu
This is an album that has unfortunately come to the attention of very few outside of Australia and even then has not received the attention it deserves in some of the more commercial outlets in Geoffrey Gurrumel Yunupingu's homeland. Geoffrey Gurrumel Yunupingu is from the Gumatj nation, his mother from the Galpu nation both First Nations peoples from North East Arnhemland in the Northern Territory. Geoffrey was born blind and is by nature a very softly spoken and shy young man of few words.
Geoffrey has a myspace site that is worth a read for further information and a listen. After seeing Geoffrey perform on a TV show on Australia's ABC, a taxpayer funded television network, I purchased this album at the first opportunity. This is an album that may be placed under the increasingly misused "world music" genre. To me the album has a quiet nature of beautifully soft acoustic songs that are sung in a gentle almost childlike nature. There is simple pureness in delivery and playing that lets the words, though sung mostly in native languages, come across with sincerity. The album packaging has the words in the various tribal languages with English translations.
There are many tracks that standout. Songs such as Gurrumel ( I Was Born Blind) has a lyric that tells of a sad but uplifting story.
"I was born blind, and I don't know why
God knows why, because he love me so
as I grew up, my spirit knew,
then I learnt to read the world of destruction
united we'll stand, in solidarity
I head my mama and my papa
crying their hearts in confusion
how can I walk? straight and tall
in society please hold my hand
trying to bridge and build Yolnu culture
I've been to New York
I've been to LA
I've been to London
United we stand divided we fall
together we'll stand in solidarity"
Baywara a song about the ancestors. Gathu Mawula and Galupa are songs of the homeland.
The song Marwurrumburr is a personal favourite with a beautifully played acoustic guitar and Geoffrey singing to the wild cats that come out at night.
So is this just another album by a native singer that guilt ridden westerners purchase just to get that feel good factor and warm inner glow? I would hope not. The songs themselves stand up to scrutiny. They are well played and Geoffrey's singing is very good. For those that would like to hear an album of quiet and reflective songs from indigenous Australia I recommend a listen.
|11-03-2008, 07:24 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2008
First I misspelt his name. It should be Gurrumul so if a Mod can fix that up I would be very appreciative.
His album is not a radical new acoustic sound. In fact the beauty of it is the simplicity and spirit of the songs. Think of Nick Drakes Pink Moon I guess though I am uncomfortable with that comparison.
I tend to read the lyrics translations from the cover notes so as to take in an understanding of the meaning of his songs. His voice has been described by a friend as angelic and that is apt. My wife enjoys it, always a plus . It is very much a sunny Sunday morning or late night listen as it is a very soft and quite recording.
There was a 2 part series on Geoffrey played over 2 evening's by Australia's ABC. You can have a look and listen here >>>>>.
Since posting this he has begun to get a bit more mainstream recognition due to various awards such as ARIA's and various other awards within the indigenous community. Link to quote. >>>>>
Hope that all helps.
|11-11-2008, 12:54 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Ba and Be.
Join Date: May 2007
Location: This Is England
I have a Yothu Yindi album (Tribal Voice). It was pleasant enough but apart from the vocal work it did'nt leave a lasting impression. I may check out this though. Another great review too.
“A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.”