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Archived event

Performance details

Wednesday 14 June 2023 at 7.30pm
Thursday 14 June 2023 at 12:30pm and 7.30pm

Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall

View digital program


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Erkki Velheim conductor


Gurrumul's Mother’s Buŋgul
Gurrumul's Grandmother’s Buŋgul
Gurrumul's Manikay

About this performance

The Inspiration behind Dr Gurrumul Yunupiŋu’s seminal album Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow), brought to the stage in a hypnotic live performance by Yolŋu dancers and songmen with the MSO.

A buŋgul is a ceremony, a gathering ground: a meeting place of dance, song and ritual.

Dr Gurrumul Yunupiŋu’s posthumously released album, Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow), is a landmark moment in Australian music. It transcends its author’s death and celebrates his life, by bringing together western and his Yolgnu family’s musical traditions.

Buŋgul is a celebration of that record’s legacy, created on Country in North East Arnhem Land, with the Yunupiŋu family. In a hypnotic performance, live Yolŋu dancers and songmen present the songs, dances and paintings that inspired Djarimirri; performed alongside the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and directed by Senior Yolŋu Don Wininba Ganambarr and Nigel Jamieson.

The heart and soul of a masterpiece made real.

Please Note: This production contains haze and smoke effects.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audience members are advised that this performance contains images and voices of deceased persons.

There will be a lock-out for this show. Latecomers will be admitted at a suitable break, approximately 7 minutes into the performance.

“To the Yolngu, our songs, paintings, and dances are our books—they tell us where we have come from and where we are going to… They are our maps, our law books, our title deeds and our family history.”

Don Wininba Ganambarr, Co-Director

“A remarkable fusion of Yolŋu culture and the Western classical music tradition”

****1/2 ArtsHub review

Presented by RISING, Arts Centre Melbourne and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Creative Acknowledgements

Music by Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Erkki Veltheim & Michael Hohnen
Directors Don Wininba Ganambarr & Nigel Jamieson
Musical Director and Conductor Erkki Velheim
Creative Producer Michael Hohnen
Executive Producer Anna Reece
Concertmaster Veronique Serret
Design & Creative Associate Jacob Nash
Lighting Designer Mark Howett
Associate Lighting Designer Chloe Ogilvie
Sound Designer Steve Francis
Video Design Mic Gruchy
Cinematographer Paul Shakeshaft
Performers Nebbie Burrarrwanga, Robert Burrarrwanga, Mark Guruwiwi, Terence Guruwiwi, Jaimie Yunupingu, Teo Yunupingu, David Yunupingu, Kyle Yunupingu, Nelson Yunupingu


We give thanks and pay our respects to the Yolŋgu people of North East Arnhem Land with whom this work has been created, and on whose country this work has been created. We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live, learn and work and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders.

This project was initiated by the Yunupingu family and Skinnyfish Music

Produced by Perth Festival and Skinnyfish Music

Supported by Buku-Larrngay Mulka Centre – Yirrkala Arts Centre and The Mulka Project

Skinnyfish Music Logo Black

Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) the album was produced by Skinnyfish Music with musical orchestrations and compositions by Erkki Veltheim

This production has been assisted by the Australian Government's Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., commissioned by Perth Festival, Darwin Festival, Adelaide Festival, RISING, Sydney Festival and Brisbane Festival.

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