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Shellie Morris
- Ngambala Wiji Li-Wunungu: The Song Peoples Sessions

This is an incredibly important release and highly recommended for anyone with an interest in ensuring the traditional languages and songs of the traditional owners of our land aren’t forgotten.

Dan Condon

Jul 18th 2013 | Label: ABC/Universal
Speaking with The Guardian earlier this week, Shellie Morris said, “I believe language preservation is a really important issue… I see how using language in song creation and music results in pride and continuation of culture.” With this new record, Morris is taking a proactive stance in ensuring a couple of traditional indigenous languages are not forgotten and, in doing so, that they sound as good as they possibly can.

The first disc of this set looks to bring the Yanuwa and Gudanji languages into a contemporary musical setting and, while this scribe is unable to speak on the significance of the language being used in this way from a traditional standpoint, the results are stunning on surface level. The ambient pads and strings that back just about every song provide a beautiful bed for both Morris' incredible voice and the spirited vocal of the traditional songwomen and the arrangements sit with the vocal brilliantly. Not just culturally enriching, it sounds damn good as well.

Disc two takes things to their base level; unaccompanied traditional song narratives from the Yanyuwa, Marra and Gudanji people, each serving its own purpose. Most who hear this will find the songs unfamiliar, but the accompanying booklet gives great insight into why these songs hold such importance, while also giving insight into each singer and their relationship with the songs they're singing. This is an incredibly important release and highly recommended for anyone with an interest in ensuring the traditional languages and songs of the traditional owners of our land aren't forgotten.

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