Thursday, October 29, 2009

Music with Madjitil Moorna

By Tracy

We called in at the Zig Zag Festival in Kalamunda last weekend and were privileged to be able to listen to the wonderful choir Madjitil Moorna, whose performance was one of the headlining events.

This is an all-ages choir with indigenous and non-indigenous members, a creative and hugely positive step in the process of reconciliation.

They sing indigenous songs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, as well as in English, and their aims include generating healing and promoting reconciliation in the community.

You can read a much better description of what they are about here.

During the performance, members of the audience were even invited to get up on stage and sing with them, after flyers were handed out giving the bilingual version lyrics. (Little Tim & I were thrilled to do this: his first time ever on a stage, and what a way to start.)

Songs like "I Am Australian" take on a new and more important meaning beyond their potentially nationalistic/patriotic limitations, when reinterpreted through indigenous language and in a context like this, opening a space for envisaging real community.

There were also original compositions from George Walley, who played guitar and sang, and a highlight in the form of a violin solo from one of the young women members.

The choir rehearses on Monday nights in Forrestfield and "all voices, all ages" are welcome.