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2007 Media Release - Murundak

Issued Thursday, November 1 2007


Concept and realisation Steven Richardson
Producer Kate Ben-Tovim
Co musical Directors David Arden, Shane Howard
Musical arrangements Aaron Choulai, Eugene Ball
Backing vocal arrangements Lou Bennett
On screen visuals Natasha Gadd
Consulting Producer Sarah Bond
Elder and Patron Aunty Joy Murphy
Produced by Arts House, a City of Melbourne contemporary arts initiative
Text Wesley Enoch
With Dave Arden, Mark Atkins, Lou Bennett, Emma Donovan, Kutcha Edwards, Joe Geia,
Shane Howard, Ruby Hunter, Rachael Maza-Long (Narrator), Shellie Morris, Stephen Pigram, Archie Roach, Peter Rotumah, Dan Sultan, Bart Willoughby, Ursula Yovich

Winner 2007 Helpmann Award for Best Australian Contemporary Concert.

“Catch it if you can, you may never see so much talent together again.” Melbourne stage online

“A sweaty, powerful, uplifting example of why cities and governments invest in festivals.” The Australian

Murundak – meaning ‘alive’ in Woiwurrung language – is an historic event that celebrates music as an instrument of identity, resistance, resilience, and a call to freedom.  The songs in Murundak are an inspirational songbook of contemporary Aboriginal life.  In a sweeping multi-media staging at Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, the concert brings together The Black Arm Band, a 28-piece ensemble featuring a line-up of exceptional soloists backed by a band of top instrumentalists. 

The soundtrack to Australian Aboriginal life is alive with songs that express joy, hope, struggle and compassion.  Murundak re-orchestrates many of these anthemic works and couples them with gentle laments and infectious love songs to take audiences on a moving, spiritual journey.  Against a backdrop of evocative and provocative film images, Murundak promises a unique Festival music experience that is a symbolic and tangible step towards mutual recognition between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Murundak is a concert tracking the history of Aboriginal resistance through song, bringing together many of the original artists and songwriters in a mass gathering of Indigenous music’s key players.  Woven through spoken word and a shifting backdrop of images, Murundak is really about the music – great anthems of resistance performed by an extraordinary, unprecedented gathering of performers. 

The Black Arm Band brings together some of our most respected Indigenous artists including Lou Bennett, Emma Donovan, Joe Geia, Ruby Hunter, Stephen Pigram, Archie Roach and Bart Willoughby.  Joining them onstage is musician Shane Howard who has added his own voice to the Indigenous music tradition. 

With text written by acclaimed director and playwright Wesley Enoch and spoken by actress Rachel Maza-Long, Murundak is a celebration of music as a powerful instrument of resistance and resilience, as well as an enabling source of identity and liberation.  With a backdrop of film and photographic images, Murundak is a journey through the extraordinary range of struggles and joys that make up contemporary Indigenous Australia.

Murundak was the closing event of the 2006 Melbourne International Arts Festival, for which it won a Helpmann award for Best Australian Contemporary Concert.

Where: Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House Bennelong Point, East Circular Quay
When: January 22–23 at 8.00pm
Duration: 1hr 30mins, no interval
Price A reserve $75 / $65
B reserve $65 / $55
C reserve $55 / $45
Bookings: Sydney Opera House  02 9250 7777


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