Madjari Yandha Gadhu & my Spanish Guitar
I was taught the Dreaming story, I walked around Gang Man Gang (Windang Island), and I heard this song.
Through my music, I aim to bring to life the human values I rediscover in nature’s wisdom.
Guided by the Aboriginal Elders, Dr. Jodi Edwards, Dharawal Custodian, and myself as a music producer, we agreed to collaborate to develop music, song and dance for Dreamtime stories and others related to Aboriginal Lore.
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My name is Tomas Lorenzo Fernandez. My parents immigrated to Australia in 1960 from Spain. I was born here in Wollongong, Illawarra and we went back to Barcelona when I was a child in 1978.
I always knew I had to come back, as on the slopes of Geera ( Mt Keira) is where I started hearing the beautiful gift of music.
I now understand I was born on Dharawal country and all my life I have been sharing the language of music I heard in the ancient rainforests, the Merrigong, here in Illawarra.
I feel that there is much more in nature than what we can see.
Music is the language I feel most comfortable with to express this deep connection to nature. Furthermore, I can only compose and perform music that truly reflects the vastness, the anarchy, and the serenity of nature.
Upon arriving in Wollongong, I followed my pathway and met the Aboriginal elders. They trusted me, and I was taught some Aboriginal values that have helped me find more peace within myself and my music.
The Aboriginal language and culture serve as the ultimate connection gateway between what we see and what truly is. It requires a lot of energy to understand even one simple value, and I genuinely hope I have the patience to continue learning more.
The story of Gang Man Gan has taught me to recognize the value of friendship and sacrifice in nature.
Dreamtime stories are also lessons to reflect upon. It is the storyteller who can convey the message and provide an explanation. In this case, I have chosen to understand the essence of the story as one that reflects the value of friendship and sacrifice, drawing upon my past experiences as the basis for my understanding.
The story can be found on public websites like Coomaditchie, and I have included this public story on this page below.
The understanding of a story has allowed me to add value to what I see and feel around me and I must say it feels good to add warmth to the rocks, water, birds, and all nature I see.
In this case I see the Windang island which is the canoe on which the Dharawal people arrived on. It is hidden as a rock so the betrayed friend, the whale, burri burri can never find them. It is a reminder of tough and necessary decisions we all have to make in life for the best interest of our family and friends.
Personally, the Windang island reminds me of the hardship and sacrifice that my parents and many immigrants from Spain and Mediterranean countries endured to start a new life here in Wollongong, in Dharawal country back in the 1960s. They came over from Spain leaving a lot behind, all their family and when they arrived there was little time to rest and only very hard work to start over again.
This contemporary guitar composition also reflects the journey of my parents inspired by the story of Gang Man Gang.
This is an example of how I would tell the story as a non indigenous person. I have arranged my composition as a movie theme to enhance the words of the story.
My original objective was to have the storyteller use this as a guide and at a later stage, once the storyteller had staged the words in their own style, I would readapt my music in an improvised manner to the pace and emotion of the speaker.
This form of interaction will add great drama and value to the emotion expressed by the storyteller allowing him or her to deliver the message and words reflecting the flow of nature which is ever changing.
Also the story sharer can change the values to be shared and how it is delivered to the audience so this interaction has to be improvised to reflect the Dharawal lore.