This collection of Australian didgeridoo music and song was recorded in the bush of the West Kimberleys in Northwestern Australia, among the tribes of the region. In other words, these are field recordings. While their sound quality is amazing, to most ears, the music will sound strange, harsh, primitive, and outside of the context that Western cultures usually consider when thinking of didgeridoo music. The didge is in some ways a backdrop (but an integral one) to these chants and folksongs that come from two distinct traditions: the Wonga and the Djunba. The disc is divided by song tradition and contains 31 tracks. The songs reflect rites and rituals for everything from initiation to birth, from ceremonial love songs to those for fishing, hunting, and cooking. While listening to the music here, as utterly beautiful and haunting as it is, it is not uncommon for someone in the chorus to cough, for a dog to bark, for one singer to “sound” out of tune. We have no way of knowing really, and it’s not important anyway, except that it reflects the authenticity of the sources of song in the West Kimberleys, and it offers modern society, used to having the didge itself used in contexts that would seem completely foreign and strange, the opportunity to hear those who’ve practiced these forms of singing and chanting and playing and dancing for thousands of years. Amazing.
The Didgeridoo Of The Australian Aborigines Review
by Thom Jurek