Gurrumul’s Djarimirri is a true Australian masterpiece

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Gurrumul’s Djarimirri is a true Australian masterpiece


The passing of Indigenous Australian icon Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu last year was a tragedy. Following countless awards won, worldwide recognition as an Australian cultural icon, and even having been invited to perform for Queen Elizabeth, the posthumous release of Djarimirri ensures that the name Gurrumul will be irreversibly etched into Australia’s cultural landscape forever more.

Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) is, to put it simply, a masterpiece. From the moment horns begin fading in and swelling around gut-wrenching strings on the astonishing opening track ‘Waak (Crow)‘, you know it in the pit of your stomach: what you’re about to experience is something incredibly important. This is vital listening. This is ancient and timeless, yet modern and revolutionary; something ethereal and otherworldly yet ingrained in the very soil of the land we walk upon.

On what became his final statement, Gurrumul has pushed his artistic vision further than anybody could have ever expected, and in his untimely passing has left behind an incredible gift for the country that he strived so hard to represent; a perfect musical representation of an artist whose music has traversed the globe and represented the best of Australia. Each piece is a full orchestral re-imagining of a traditional Indigenous arrangement sung entirely in Yolŋu Matha dialects, bringing together Indigenous and canonically western music to create an absolutely breathtaking listening experience.

The emotional range present throughout is astounding; Gurrumul’s transcendent voice soaring above the arrangements and taking the listener on an emotional rollercoaster that doesn’t let you rest until the very last note. 

Djarimirri is an experience completely unto itself, and one that has to be heard to truly be understood. Do yourself a favour and make sure that you hear this. It’s important.