THE SONGMAN

Producers: Liz Thompson and Simon Green with Senior Wägilak Cultural Custodian Roy Ashley Waṉapuyŋu and Senior Liya Dhalinymirr Cultural Custodian Yingiya Guyula
Engineer: Steven Tilley
Additional composition and sound design: Simon Green
Additional audio and location recordings: Jane Ulman and Gretchen Miller

Produced for Into the Music – ABC Radio National

Synopsis

Everything was sung into being…. we got a tree song, we got a leaf song, we got a flower song, we got  a river song, we got a water song, we got fish song, we sing everything.”

Roy Ashley Waṉapuyŋu was a senior Wägilak Cultural Custodian from NE Arnhem Land. In late 2010 Liz Thompson and Simon Green travelled with him and his family to Melkjulumbu (Beswick Falls), a remote and magical place in Jawoyn country and sat with him as he spoke about Wägilak stories and history.

They sat for four days in the shade of the paperbarks and Roy sang of Gaṉdjaḻaḻa, an ancestral spirit who gave law, language, songs and ceremonies to the Wagilak people.

A great funeral singer, Roy was responsible for singing the spirits of the Wägilak home to a place called Wukidi. He also shared fragments of the Wata (Wind) song, along which the spirits of the deceased travel. These epic song cycles hold vast bodies of knowledge. The singing of them in their entirety, in a ceremonial context, might take days,

In these recordings made with Roy over those few days, he offered glimpses and insight into the incredible depth and beauty of the Gaṉdjaḻaḻa song cycle.

This Song is from Ever Since: Songs for Wägilak Country is a result of that journey and offered as a song itself for the wellbeing of people, country and culture.

THE SONGMAN

Producers: Liz Thompson and Simon Green
Engineer: Steven Tilley
Additional composition and sound design: Simon Green
Additional audio and location recordings: Jane Ulman and Gretchen Miller

Synopsis

Everything was sung into being…. we got a tree song, we got a leaf song, we got a flower song, we got  a river song, we got a water song, we got fish song, we sing everything.”

Roy Wunynumbi is a senior Elder of the Wagilak clan of NE Arnhem Land. In late 2010 Liz Thompson and Simon Green travelled with him and his family to Beswick Falls, a remote and magical place in Jawoyn country and sat with him as he spoke about Wagilak stories and history.

They sat for four days in the shade of the paperbarks and Roy sang of Gandjalala, an ancestral spirit who gave law, language, songs and ceremonies to the Wagilak people.

A great funeral singer, Roy is responsible for singing the spirits of the Wagilak home to a place called Wukedi. He also shared fragments of Wata (Wind), the song, along which the spirits travel. These epic song cycles hold vast bodies of knowledge for those to whom they belong. The singing of them in their entirety, in a ceremonial context, might take days,

In these recordings made with Roy over those few days, he offered glimpses and insight into the incredible depth and beauty of that which he holds.

This Song is from Ever Since: Songs for Wagilak Country is a result of that journey and offered as a song itself for the wellbeing of people, country and culture.