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Central Australian Aboriginal Women's Choir
"Boomerang Tour" Germany 2015

Recordings of the Concert at Ansbach, Bavaria

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Ansbach CD Cover

The Concert Program was presented in four ‘movements’ each of which featured hymns and songs recalling successive periods of the story.

The hymns and songs represent a unique musical conjunction of sacred poetry, baroque and romantic musical arrangements, delivered through Indigenous Australian voices and ancient languages. This recording presents a representative sample of the performance.

  1. Overture - First Footprints: Song and chant in ceremony ( lnma - before 1870)
  2. Jesuai Nhaurna Pitiai - a song taught by the ?rst missionary AH Kempe in the 1880s (Melody: Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu)
  3. Tiina Kngarr’ Alkirala Nama - The Best of friends is found in heaven (Benjamin Schmolck, 1672-1737)
  4. Enka Ntaap’ra Nukai - 0 bless the Lord my soul (Isaac Watts, 1674-1748)
  5. Pitiai lngkaart-urna - traditional German round (Danket, danket, dem Herrn)
  6. lngkaartai Alkira Ngerra - based on Psalm 36:5 Herr, deine Güte reicht so weit! (August Eduard Grell, 1800-1886).
  7. Hosianna (Original Arrarnta Hymn by Moses Tjalkabota 8 Johannes Ntjalka, 1921)
  8. Mayatialupi Kanyilpai - The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23) Scottish Psalter (1650) based on Francis Hous, 1641. Melody by George Thomas Smart (1776-1867).
  9. llkagitianyaya - The Lord of Heaven confess (Psalm 148) The Scottish Psalter 1929.
  10. Jesu Nganagala - Jesus stand Among us (William Pennefather, c.1855)
  11. Walkunila Pitaltii Pulka lrnyantia - Hail Gladdening Light. Anon, Greek 3rd century. Translated by John Keble (1792-1866)
  12. Godanya Nganampa Mayatia - (0riginal Pitjantiatjara song by Petrina Windy, Caroline Windy and Hollie Webb, 2003).
  13. Kaarrerrai Wurlamparinyai! - Awake, Awake, for Night is Flying! (Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608). The farewell song sung by the Ntaria choir at Strehlow’s last journey to Horseshoe Bend (Cantata song Hermannsburg Choir, conducted by David Roennfeldt)
  14. lngkaarta Pitiai - African American “Kumbaya My Lord”, translated into Western Arrarnta by L. Moketarinja 1991
  15. Mayatia Altimani - Original Pitiantjatjara song by Tony Campbell
  16. Somlandela - Traditional Zulu song

In June 2015 The Central Australian Aboriginai Women’s Choir undertook a historic concert tour of Germany. Thirty women (and two men!) from remote Centrat Australian Aboriginal communities performed at a series of concerts in churches and at civic occasions in the state of Bavaria and the cities of Stuttgart and Wiesbaden. This is a life recording of their concert in the 8th Century city of Ansbach.

'Arrkanala Lyilhitiika' (Western Arrarnta for ‘The Joy of Singing‘) is a 75-minute choral fantasia of sacred music and other songs in a number of languages: Western Arrarnta, Pitiantjatiara, Yorta Yorta, Zulu and English. In this performance, the choir shares some of the music drawn from over 100 years of choral heritage and practice in remote Central Australian aboriginal communities.

Choral singing was first introduced by German mission pioneers to the Western Arranta people of Ntaria in the late 1800s. This musical innovation was a naturat ‘fit’ to a people with a long history of transmitting their culture, wisdom and knowledge through song and ceremony. German Lutherans were also a ‘singing’ culture that
transmitted their wisdom and knowledge through song and ceremony.

This recording showcases the unique tonality of the Aboriginal Women's choir, their multi-lingual choral skills, their musicianship, their ancient languages and their enduring culture. Coilaborations with other Central Australian choirs and especially with the Soweto Gospel Choir in recent years have contributed to this rich heritage of choral practice and now delivered by a remarkable group oi women — singers, artists, weavers, mothers, grandmothers, elders and stateswomen, giving listeners and viewers an intimate insight into these women, their culture and wortd.

These choirs and their communities have performed a unique service, preserving some of the oldest hymnic traditions of the Christian community, including sacred poetry that dates back to the 3'“ century. This choral practice has made a considerable contribution to the preservation of language. the propagation of literacy and enhancing identity and connection to country.

in a performance landscape within indigenous music that is dominated by the presence of men, this story . represents an unheralded aspect of contemporary. Australian Indigenous music and musicianship and is a testament to the resilience of indigenous women in the Central Desert and how they have preserved their identity, their language and their culture through song.



Finke River MissionLutheran Church of Australia / Finke River Mission, PO Box 2129, Alice Springs NT 0871, Australia
Phone: +61 (0)8 8952 4666, Fax +61 (0)8 8952 4894, Email: <rob.b@finkerivermission.org.au>