My friend Dr.Jodi Edwards, Yuin Custodian with Dharawal kinship ties asked me to compose music that would reflect the Aboriginal massacre on the Minnamurra River here in NSW Australia by Dapto Farmer Lt William Frederick Weston in 1818, but describing life.
I knew this was going to be very hard as the song would have to describe a life of peace connected to nature in ways that I know now it would take me a lifetime to understand.
I asked Jodi a lot of questions about Aboriginal Lore as we walked along the river but no music came to my mind.
In the following weeks I visited the river many times and finally felt that I had to go to the Minnamurra Rainforest, to the beginning of this waterway on the Merrigong where I sat down for quite a few hours and listened and I heard this song.
I was confused at first as I did not understand the complexity of the music but Jodi guided me by weaving Aboriginal peoples connection to Country this has the words music does not.
The result has been a suite of 3 compositions that musically tell the story of what I cannot see but I know is there when I close my eyes.
In this video I play a short extract of the song that reflects life where I see water as a whole on a journey from start to finish. We decided that the best way to describe the massacre was to describe what was lost and still is here with us.
My humble objective is to merely bring to my life and understanding through music the life as it was and is where people are just one more droplet of water in the river.
Please enjoy my other guitar compositions based upon Aboriginal Lore
Available on all Digital Streaming Platforms
This composition describes this ancient temple, the Minnamurra rainforest where the old and new have always met to embrace in harmony. The water droplet journeys to the sea , Garrigaran called by the sun , Gurgama the wind carries it back to Burbara (the mountain) and the cycle of existence continues its journey.
The loss of human life on the Minnamurra was the loss of those who cared and understood it all. I tried to hear a song where it all happened but I could not as I did not understand what was lost.
In this case I only heard the music of the river as I was sitting in the Minnamurra rainforest. It took me sometime but I finally understood what I was hearing and why.
The following story describes what I see and feel as the composition evolves. I was not told exactly this story but I pieced it all together by my need to understand what I was hearing in this composition.
This song tells the story of the water droplet that falls from the sky when summoned by the mountain. It falls and refreshes this ancient forest, a temple of existence where the old and the new embrace, a place that has always been.
Djawula the lyrebird sings the songs for all to listen and remember.
The water droplet along with all his brothers and sisters refresh the trees, the birds, the living creatures past and present, and they continue with their journey to give life and are quickly gathered by the mountain with all the richness they carry and directed to the gully.
More and more brothers and sisters join and now they only have to travel a short distance to the ocean where birds, fish and people are awaiting to harvest and share.
Once the droplet reaches the ocean, it is summoned by the sun and the wind carries them back to the mountain Bubara so she can guide them again on their eternal journey.