Ceremony Music from Oceania

Reimagining private ceremony songs, a new direction for Oceania

Nundhirribala Ngulmiya by Anthony Gray
Anthony Gray by Numbulwar Culture & Media
Luke Howard


Chaired by Ngulmiya Nundhirribala (Australia); Bapa Gajah

with Anthony Gray (Australia), Bapa Gajah;
Luke Howard (Australia), artist

Ngulmiya Nundhirribala will speak about his traditional and ceremony music that has developed in relative isolation over thousands of years on the remote Arnhem Land coast of Northern Australia and how, for the first time, he has merged songs and vocal style with other high art forms.

What we need to learn about this music is that this is the point the high art traditional music from Arnhem Land, as it has been sung for thousands of years mainly in isolation, splits off and becomes high art on a world scale. It is not just a singer from one tradition trying to fit their song or style over someone else’s music, it is a whole new form of high art that has organically and naturally developed.

Ngulmiya’s new songs are still sacred ceremony songs but performed in a way that they have never been heard before.