What’s with the bird theme and the bird call samples throughout the albums?
It’s an idea I have had for a while now to sample birds and this seemed like the perfect record to give it a go. It worked really well. It brought a lot of really beautiful colours, harmonies you wouldn’t otherwise expect. It was fascinating for me to put those familiar sounds I have grown up listening to in the scrub into a musical context and understand how uniquely beautifully birds sing and how incredibly they work in pitch and harmony.
This album had it’s genesis in the Kimberley after an encounter with a black cockatoo – what happened?
It’s hard to put it into words. A lot of this record was inspired by my time in the Kimberley. I have been working on the James Price Point saga for the last three to four years and that place has been very powerful for me on my personal journey. I had just been to a sacred site and was coming back along a track and I came across a tree that had a mob of red- tail black cockatoos in it. They are usually pretty flighty but they stayed right there and one – I’m going to call it an old grandmother spirit – just locked her eyes on mine, looked through me and screeched and groaned and talked to me. I had all these images running through my mind of faces and places, things that were like memories but they weren’t mine. I was just blown away and that afternoon I wrote the start of Spirit Bird on a beach. It just poured out of me
and it was really emotional.
Your music invariably has a message. Does your activism inform your art and vice versa?
I don’t set out to say anything really, I just let the music come through and always have. I have a strong connection to country and culture and as a result of that there is a lot of music coming