Interweaving Voices Series: Going to Canberra

Ayipa (news telling) song – Kulama 2010, Bathurst Island

Voice – Yikliya Eustace Tipiloura
Horn – Genevieve Campbell
with fragments from the Archives.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this video contains images and voices of those who have passed away.

This is the first instalment in the Sydney Environment Institute’s Interweaving Voices series, by musicologist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Genevieve Campbell. The series unearths archival recordings of Ayipa songs from the Tiwi Islands – which are themselves ever-evolving recordings of history, culture, celebration, and loss.

In 2009 Genevieve and a group of Tiwi Elders travelled to Canberra to reclaim ethnographic audio and visual recordings made by researchers and visitors to the islands, held in the Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and the National Film and Sound Archive. Amongst these recordings were hundreds of unique songs, composed specifically for particular events, both ceremonial and secular. Since then, Genevieve has continued to work with elders to document and preserve Tiwi song language and melody. This series documents that process.

Read Genevieve’s introduction to the series and reflection on Going to Canberra here.