Sanctuary: James Howard – Ancestral Redux

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Sanctuary: James Howard – Ancestral Redux

James Howard (he/him) is a Jaadwa songwriter and composer living on the lands of the Kulin Nations. His creative work merges folk-centric songwriting with long-form improvised soundscapes as a means of embedding his stories in Country. Howard employs the use of electronic instruments and production techniques, with voice and field recordings as a response to intersections of Country, culture, politics, and identity.

His performance in Primrose Potter Salon as part of Sanctuary explores his family history and the stories that have shaped his life. Beginning with his ancestor, Arthur Wellington, a Jaadwa man forced to hide his culture to keep his children safe. Moving forward in time to his grandmother, Aunty Beth Lyons, who spent decades of her life searching for the truth of her heritage in order for it to continue. Finally, James is faced with the responsibility of cultivating, and caring for his Jaadwa bloodline, so that his culture may live on for the next generation.

The performance interweaves a series of lyric centric songs, sharing the narrative of cultural reclamation, as well as expansive, semi-improvised instrumentals that reflect James’ reconnection to Jaadwa Country.

This performance was programmed by Neil Morris. Neil is a proud Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung, Wiradjuri, Ngurai Illum Wurrung man and a creative through mediums of song, sound and word. He explores decolonial content, Indigenous rights and Culture and is driven by aspirations of First Nations Liberation and Sovereignty.