Badu Nawul: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance from Badu Island, Torres Strait/Iama Wakai Tusi / Voices of Iama: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Iama/Yam Island, Torres Strait/Mabuygiw Awgadhaw Nawul: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Mabuiag Island, Torres Strait/Warraber Au Bunyg Wakai: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Warraber/Sue Island, Torres Strait

By Wolffram, Paul | Yearbook for Traditional Music, January 1, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Badu Nawul: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance from Badu Island, Torres Strait/Iama Wakai Tusi / Voices of Iama: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Iama/Yam Island, Torres Strait/Mabuygiw Awgadhaw Nawul: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Mabuiag Island, Torres Strait/Warraber Au Bunyg Wakai: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Warraber/Sue Island, Torres Strait


Wolffram, Paul, Yearbook for Traditional Music


AUSTRALIA AND OCEANIA

Badu Nawul: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance from Badu Island, Torres Strait. 2008. Torres Strait Regional Authority TSRA 001. Annotated and produced by Will Kepa, Karl Neuenfeldt, and Nigel Pegrum; accompanying DVD filmed and edited by Brett Charles. 19 pp. of notes in English. 9 colour photographs, 1 map. 1 compact disc, 24 tracks (61:50) plus 1 DVD of music, dance, and interviews (28:24).

Iama Wakai Tusi / Voices of Iama: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Iama/Yam Island, Torres Strait. 2008. Torres Strait Regional Authority TSRA 002. Annotated and produced by Will Kepa, Karl Neuenfeldt, and Nigel Pegrum; accompanying DVD filmed by Murray Lui and edited by Brett Charles. 15 pp. of notes in English. 6 colour photographs, 2 illustrations, 1 map. 1 compact disc, 22 tracks (66:26) plus 1 DVD of music, dance, and interviews (17:45).

Mabuygiw Awgadhaw Nawul: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Mabuiag Island, Torres Strait. 2008. Torres Strait Regional Authority TSRA 003. Annotated and produced by Will Kepa, Karl Neuenfeldt, and Nigel Pegrum; accompanying DVD filmed and edited by Brett Charles. 15 pp. of notes in English. 9 colour photographs, 1 map. 1 compact disc, 17 tracks (65:02) plus 1 DVD of music, dance, and interviews (19:08).

Warraber Au Bunyg Wakai: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Warraber/Sue Island, Torres Strait. 2008. Torres Strait Regional Authority TSRA 004. Annotated and produced by Will Kepa, Karl Neuenfeldt, and Nigel Pegrum; accompanying DVD filmed by Murray Lui and edited by Brett Charles. 15 pp. of notes in English. 8 colour photographs, 1 illustration, 1 map. 1 compact disc, 23 tracks (65:02) plus 1 DVD of music, dance, and interviews (18:45).

These audio recordings and accompanying DVDs are an initiative of the Torres Strait Regional Authority. Together, the eight discs, consisting of four CDs and four DVDs, form an ambitious set of recordings that cover four island groups in the central Torres Strait region of Australia. The stated aim of these recordings is to support Ailan Kastom (Island custom), activities such as music and dance that are understood as important components of Torres Strait social life and culture.

The discs are a collaboration between indigenous inhabitants of the four island groups and Australian producers. The three producers include ethnomusicologist Karl Neuenfeldt (Central Queensland University), producer/musician Nigel Pegrum, and local Torres Strait Islander Will Kepa. Kepa acts as musical director on all four discs and, together with Nigel Pegrum, audio engineered the recordings on-location. Kepa has obviously played an important role in the realization of these recordings. On each disc he provides backing vocals, instrumental support, and musical direction, as well as acting in a producer role. His presence gives the recordings the sort of continuity of indigenous input that is often missing from cultural music recordings. All too often recordings of indigenous musical traditions are audio engineered, mixed, mastered, and produced by outsiders who have only a limited understanding of the musical and cultural aesthetics at play.

The audio recordings are produced to a high standard and the accompanying information provides a brief economic, social, and cultural history of each island group in an attractive and well-designed booklet. The individual tracks present a mixture of traditional and contemporary music, arranged into groups according to genre, such as traditional maritime songs, children's songs, contemporary Christian kores, traditional hymns, and traditional lugger songs, which feature songs about the once important pearling industry in the region.

In general the CDs provide a good sense of the musical activities in the lives of the people of each island. All track listings are well documented with track name, composer (where known), and textual transcriptions of the song lyrics.

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Badu Nawul: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance from Badu Island, Torres Strait/Iama Wakai Tusi / Voices of Iama: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Iama/Yam Island, Torres Strait/Mabuygiw Awgadhaw Nawul: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Mabuiag Island, Torres Strait/Warraber Au Bunyg Wakai: Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance of Warraber/Sue Island, Torres Strait
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