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Saltwater Band

Originally from north-east Arnhem Land with its sandy beaches, abundance of flora and fauna and spectacular scuba diving reefs, the group have a deep connection tour land. These eight young musicians from Elcho Island had their first album “Gapu Damurrun” styled in contemporary traditional songs that were written 10,000 years ago, alongside common pop music styles.

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, one of the most experienced members, knows exactly what he’s doing. Touring extensively when he was a member of Yothu Yindi, he has developed his song-writing and producing skills to a successful status. The other side of the coin is Manuel Nulupani Dhurrkay, the lead singer. His harmonies sets a pace of tranquillity and strong tones, expressing the strong ties Saltwater Band has with their culture.

Manuel and Geoffrey desire to not only living their passion of performing contemporary Indigenous music, but educating the young Indigenous population about their culture. Preserving the songs, traditions and emotions belonging to their ancestors, before the young generation are caught up in Western materialism. Before they forget their inner identity. Saltwater Band are the contemporary means of passing on cultural traditions from generation to generation.

“Djarridjarri (Blue Flag)” is unique because of its complete diversity of styles. From reggae, to African drums, flamenco and Pacific Island guitars with vocal harmony, Saltwater Band combine tradition with modern to address the taste of any music lover. Free from politics, the album shares a diversity of themes: the harmonious gathering of Rräkala people, saltwater splashing in the Galawu area, fathers and ancestors passed on, and understanding each other’s cultures and worlds in Australia. Combining traditional stories of the Aboriginal people with the drums, guitar, and modern pop beats, Saltwater Band have found a new niche in music. With this motto an inspiration, the 8-member band are determined to take Indigenous music to a new level: "Let us become one & think of our elders & follow them with our minds and our feet." When immersed in this new album, you feel a certain pride for Indigenous arts and the growing potential in this infant industry.

Surprisingly, their songs that are dedicated to bringing Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians together and the colour of the Aboriginal flag ignore any prejudices from the past or present. Rather they celebrate the Yolnu people, the symbolism of the sun, bringing Australia together as one community, working to make it a better place. Though airy-fairy at its inception, there are important hidden meanings in the tracks ‘Let’s work together,’ and ‘Colour of our Flag.’ “Djarridjarri (Blue Flag)” by Saltwater Band uplifts any aching soul and spreads rays of energy to tis listeners, allowing you to forget about the cares and worries of daily life. Saltwater Band places a smile on any day, an essential to your music collection. An essential to any proud Australian.


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