Gurrumul’s final recording ‘Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)’ will be released on April 13.
The album was completed just weeks before the death of Gurrumul in July, 2017.
Long-time collaborator Michael Hohnen has worked at completing the recording over the past six months.
“Last year we sat and listened to these recordings over and over again, from beginning to end and piece by piece, pulling them apart and putting them back together until all elements shone. We had finished the incredible process, preparing to release it and then we lost him,” said long-time musical collaborator and friend Michael Hohnen. “We had played many of the pieces live over the past few years of touring and planned how the pieces would work before we recorded them in the studio. He was immensely proud of what we achieved on this album and it is an emotional experience for all of us to present this final enormous chapter in his story with this musical statement.”
The first reveal of the albumis ‘Djolin (Musical Instrument)’.
‘Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)’ is described as Gurrumul’s final message. “The album aligns Australian traditional music alongside a European mainstream pop/classical tradition with complex but subtle changes and repetition in the orchestral parts. This album is inspired by composers from the early baroque to Stravinsky, Arvo Part and the American minimalist contemporary classical tradition of Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, Michael Nyman, Max Richter and many others to bring two worlds together,” Hohnen said.
The album will be accompanied by the cinema release of ‘Gurrumul’ by director Paul Williams in April 25.
GURRUMUL is a portrait of an artist on the brink of global reverence and the struggles he and those closest to him faced in balancing family, country and traditional life with an international music career. Blind from birth, he found purpose and meaning through songs and music inspired by his community and country on Elcho Island in far North East Arnhem Land. Living a traditional Yolngu life, GURRUMUL is a story of the clash of cultures behind the making of an Australian icon. ‘Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)’ completes the musical legacy of that story.