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Andhannaggi: Walker River Clan Songs
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CD, Playing time --:-- minutes
CAAMA - number not known
There is a recent release of a CD featuring clan songs, with didjeridu accompaniment, from the central-eastern region of Arnhem Land. It is titled "Andhannaggi: Walker River Clan Songs". This is an excellent release by CAAMA Music (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association), who were approached by the performers to assist with the recording. With 29 tracks in total, some consisting of explanations - in the vernacular and in English - of the meaning of the songs, as conceived by the songmen, there is plenty of listening to be found. The field recording was accomplished with a DAT machine, so the quality is understanderbly high. The CD jacket is full of illuminating insights about the people, land and culture of that part of Arnhem Land. I believe this recording is of important heritage value as these people have not been previously put to tape, possibly due to their geographic isolation. Of particular interest to us is the didjeridu component of the clan songs. To me, it is difficult to place the affiliation of the 'Andhannaggi' didjeridu music. It appears to be very similar to the Yolngu style of north-east Arnhem Land, but containing elements of the Groote Eylandt and Djinang style of playing. Mostly, the didjeridu is played regularly. That is, it follows a strict pattern throughout a piece. The overtones are not usually of the short-and-sharp variety of the Yolngu but more drawn out like the Djinang people of the Western Yolngu cultural bloc. However, 'pops' in the air column can be heard as part of the pattern, reminding me of the style of the Andilyaugwa people of Groote Eylandt. All in all, a very worthwhile listening and learning experience.
Reviewer: Guan Lim