The mu­sic will live on

Townsville Bulletin - - CLASSIFIEDS -

THE world will soon hear new mu­sic from the late Dr G Yunupingu, Aus­tralia’s most promi­nent Abo­rig­i­nal mu­si­cian.

The na­tion is mourn­ing the loss of the 46- year- old singer, who died of a heart at­tack in a Dar­win hospi­tal on Tues­day af­ter a long bat­tle with liver and kid­ney dis­ease.

Mark Grose, the manag­ing di­rec­tor of Dr Yunupingu’s record la­bel, says the blind Yol­ngu artist from El­cho Is­land, off the coast of Arn­hem Land, had fin­ished record­ing a new al­bum be­fore he died.

The new mu­sic forms part of a doc­u­men­tary about Dr Yunupingu’s life which will pre­miere next month at the Mel­bourne Film Fes­ti­val, he told ABC. “There is more mu­sic, there’s no doubt about that,” Mr Grose said. “We’ve got at least one or two al­bums.” Mr Grose praised the “ge­nius” com­poser as one of the most im­por­tant fig­ures in the coun­try’s mu­sic his­tory. The no­to­ri­ously shy Gu­matj clan mem­ber from the North­ern Ter­ri­tory’s Gali­win’ku com­mu­nity had an abil­ity to bridge cul­tures, touch­ing the hearts of mil­lions while singing in his na­tive tongue. He over­came many bar­ri­ers to help mainstream so­ci­ety see the beauty of the world’s old­est liv­ing cul­ture while be­com­ing the high­est- sell­ing in­dige­nous artist in his­tory.

The for­mer Yothu Yindi band mem­ber first picked up a gui­tar at age six, learn­ing to play it up­side down as he was left handed.

Since then the self- taught artist tra­versed countless styles and in­stru­ments in his col­lab­o­ra­tions, meld­ing his tra­di­tional sound with any­thing from clas­si­cal mu­sic to rap, while per­form­ing along­side the likes of El­ton John and Sting. The multi award- win­ner sold more than half a mil­lion al­bums and per­formed for the Pope, the Queen, and for­mer US pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

Mr Grose said the ethe­real tones on Dr Yunupingu’s de­but 2008 solo al­bum res­onated with peo­ple who had lost loved ones, were dy­ing them­selves or had just been born.

“It cer­tainly calms chil­dren, I can’t ex­plain it,” he said.

“It’s hon­est mu­sic, it’s heart­felt, it’s straight from a cul­ture that has deep beauty and has some­thing in it that us white fel­las don’t un­der­stand.”

LOSS: Mu­si­cian Dr G. Yunupingu will be missed. Pic­ture: SKIN­NY­FISH

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