The Gurrumul Story

The Gurrumul Story

The profound grace and beauty in Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu’s storytelling has left a permanent legacy within Australian music. The Indigenous Australian from the Gumatj clan first made his mark (and earned eight ARIA Awards) with Yolngu band Yothu Yindi throughout the 1990s, and with The Saltwater Band throughout the early 2000s. But it was his four solo albums (including the posthumous 2018 release Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)) that not only brought him the highest acclaim, more awards and platinum sales figures, but elevated him to one of the most revered artists in the country’s musical history. Released a little over four years after his passing, The Gurrumul Story is a compilation of highlights from his legendary solo career. The record begins with a new version of "Wiyathul (Longing for Place)" from his self-titled debut. With added strings, recorded by the Prague Metropolitan Orchestra, the song takes on a thrillingly cinematic new feel, adding power and depth to one of Gurrumul’s earliest, most loved songs. The compilation also includes an emotive version of “Bayini” featuring Sarah Blasko, whose vocals were added to the Rrakala track after the pair performed it together in 2011. Her verse, sung in English, was initially added to share the song’s moving story with listeners who could not speak the Yolngu language. With tracks selected from each of his albums and listed chronologically, this is the perfect place to start if you’re unfamiliar with Gurrumul’s wider catalogue, and a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the most enduring songs of his career.

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