Camerata’s continental journey ends with tribute to Country

Camerata’s upcoming performance Landscapes will transport its audience from England to Greeces before returning to Country with stories from home performed by award-winning First Nations singer Emily Wurramara – performing her original music in English and her traditional language Anindilyakwa.

Jul 21, 2021, updated Jul 21, 2021
Emily Wurramara will be performing Landscapes with Camerata in Toowoomba and Brisbane (Image: Supplied)

Emily Wurramara will be performing Landscapes with Camerata in Toowoomba and Brisbane (Image: Supplied)

Landscapes will see Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra construct sonic worlds from far-flung places, from England to Spain to Greece, as well as imagined, mythical environments in an eight-work performance which will be opened by Emily Wurramara.

The First Nations artist will sing the opening piece, John Rodgers’ Hear Me and Remember, as well as her own pieces which centre on Country, family and culture in English and her traditional language, Anindilyakwa.

Wurramara was born on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory before moving to Brisbane and has made waves in Australian music with her ARIA-nominated debut album Milyakburra, which takes inspiration from life on the island and in the city.

The programme will also see performances of Lennox Berkeley’s Serenade for Strings which traverses England, the mythical world of Igor Stravinsky’s Selections from Apollon Musagète, and Paul Stanhope’s vivid Dancing on Clouds. 

Audiences then travel to Andalusia in Spain with Joaquin Rodrigo’s Dos Miniaturas Andaluzas before arriving in Greece with Nikos Skalkottas’ Five Greek Dances. 

Wurramara will close the programme with two original songs accompanied by new arrangements by Camerata, performing Yimenda-Papaguneray (Turtle Song) in her traditional language and Ngarrukwujenama in English and Anindilyakwa.

“My songs are written on Country, paying respects to the land and preserving it for future generations, which I think will intertwine beautifully with the Landscapes theme,” she said.

“When I sing in my language, it does more than sing to your physical vessel, it reaches into your soul so while audiences may not understand what I am singing, they can feel it and connect with it and that in itself is healing.”

Camerata Artistic Director Brendan Joyce said he is thrilled to welcome Wurramara on stage with Camerata, after seeing her perform Hear Me and Remember at the 2019 Adelaide Festival.

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“Emily is a striking musician with a mesmerising quality, not just in her incredible voice but in her gentle yet strong presence on stage,” he said.

“Her desire to tell stories about where she’s from and sing in her language is such a special experience and I feel privileged that Camerata is able to share this with audiences in Brisbane and Toowoomba as part of the Landscapes concerts.

“Travel is a point of connection for everyone and Landscapes will immerse audiences in the unique worlds that classical composers conjure in their compositions.

“Everyone loves music and everyone needs music, so I hope we can fill that innate need through an inspired selection of works that transport audiences through storytelling.”

Landscapes will be performed in Toowoomba and Brisbane on 28 and 29 July, for more information visit Camerata’s website. 

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