Singer-songwriters Neil Murray, Kavisha Mazzella, Carl Pannuzzo and Eva Popov will appear at the 2016 Maldon Folk Festival, to launch the premiere of Singing From Country. Over the past few months, they have been working closely with traditional landowners, ecologists and naturalists to develop songs that express, reflect and respond to the land.
“Music is a universal language,” said Terry White, founder of Singing From Country. “It tells stories. It helps communicate love for land, deepen knowledge of country and strengthen community.”
The launch will take place in two parts. The first is a workshop, to be held on Saturday 29 October at 1pm at the Maldon Anglican Church Hall. Traditional landowners, ecologists and naturalists involved in the revival of indigenous languages will discuss the Dja Dja Wurrung people’s relationship with country.
Meanwhile, Murray, Mazzella, Pannuzzo and Popov will talk about the joys and challenges of songwriting.
“Victoria’s Aboriginal Languages reflect a deep connection to the land, providing us with wisdom about how to care for it,” said Paul Paton, who works for the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Language, which is a partner in Singing For Country. Other partners include Connecting Country and Regional Arts Victoria.
On the evening of Saturday 29 October, at 8:15pm, at the Maldon Community Centre, the songwriters will perform the songs that emerged from the collaboration. The writing process started at a workshop held in Fryerstown in September 2016.
In December, local singing leaders will arrange the songs for their choirs, and rehearse them, in preparation for performances at Castlemaine State Festival, to take place from 17-26 March 2017.
Singing From Country hopes to inspire other songwriters to reflect on, and write about, their relationship with the land.