Sunday, March 16, 2008

Concert & Recording Session Success

Well after a lot of work and organising by a lot of people the Stories and Songs from the Inala Yarning Place concert and recording session on Saturday the 15th was a complete success. The Inala Community Hall was as full with as many people as we could comfortably fit. There was a great participatory energy and much enjoyment by all.

We set up with the band (AZITIZ) and the choir in the middle and the audience arranged around them in a big semicircle. This also left room for a projector and screen to put up images from the project workshops, the history of Inala and a set for each of the new songs. We were fortunate enough to have on loan a full sound desk, microphones and recording gear so with the support of Bagginz Entertainment Services.

The first half got underway with some stunning didjeridu playing by Stephen Bond. The Welcome to Country was performed by Kerry Charlton and the concert was opened by Brisbane City Council Community Arts Officer, John Jeffrey.

The first performers were the 'Yarning Place Singers' with two numbers from their much appreciated repertoire - 'Dreamtime' and 'Yanundaar - Murri Boy'. Next came Marie Dao from the Vietnamese community who sang 'Lang Toi' (My Country).

Their was a dramatic change of style with the Inala Tongan Youth singing 'Fakamalo' (Thank You For Life). Their wonderful harmonies entranced us all.

The Yarning Place Singers and Songlines joined together to sing the last two songs of the first half with 'God Gave Us Mothers' and 'Strong Black Women'.

The interval was a bush tucker delight thanks to Dale Chapman from 'Dilly Bag Catering' who provided some catering training for local youth and some great food for us all.

InalaYPconcert039.JPG
In the second half we recorded the five new songs:
  • 'Biota Street'
  • 'Fresh'
  • 'We Can Be Strong'
  • 'My Town' and
  • 'The Word'.
One of the pleasant surprises for the recording was Hola from the Tongan community turned up with a Tongan version of 'My Town'. It meant we were able to record English, Jagera, Vietnamese and Tongan versions. It was an example of the many different ways in which people have contributed so generously and thoughfully to this project.

I've uploaded some photos to my flickr page and they can be viewed here or you can see them as a slide show here.

Next comes the sound and video editing and the DVD and booklet creation. We'll let you know how they are progressing.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Creating 'The Day before Valentine's'

Wednesday 13th February, 2008 was a truly historic day. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made the apology that many Australians black and white had been waiting for. It was the apology on behalf of the Australian Parliament to the Stolen Generations for the wrongs that had been done to them over many years under government policies and laws that sanctioned and encouraged the forced removal of children from their families and their cultures.

When we arrived at the Inala Elders Centre on Saturday morning, it was clear that it had been an important week. Not only did we talk and tell and listen to stories about what it had been like for members of the Stolen Generations but we created a song together that was inspired by the apology in Parliament House.



This is the magic of getting together in projects like Stories and Songs from the Inala Yarning Place. We can listen and talk, create and sing, reflect and learn together.

Many organisation had been working to accomplish this historic apology.

'The Word' or, alternatively, 'The Day before Valentine's'

'The Word'

(Listen to a work in progress version of the song here - QuickTime)

(chorus)
Sorry is the word they came to hear.
It brought tears to my eyes.
Strangers and friends embracing,
Gone are all those lies.

I saw it unfold before my eyes.
He spoke, his heartfelt words.
Sacred stories in his message,
The words we waited for.

Chorus

Smoke, leaves and dancers,
Elders leading the way,
Spirits of our ancestors,
Their presence blessed this day.

Chorus

The past is not forgotten,
Stories still to be told.
Lets journey together,
The old, the young and the bold.

Chorus x 2

(created as part of the Stories and Songs of the Inala Yarning Place' project Saturday, 16th Feb, 2008)

Creating 'My Town'

One of the many highlights of the Stories and Songs from the Inala Yarning Place Project has been the creation of the 'My Town' song.

It was on one of the days with a quite a lot of participants attending especially people from the Vietnamese community. While we were talking about the things we liked about Inala, a number of people talked about the trees and birds and about the streets that were named after flowers and how important these things were to people across all cultures.

So we set to work creating a verse of a song about this. First of all we worked in English and came up with:-

My town has many streets,
Named from flowers and birds,
These things lift my heart
And purify my soul.

Then our Vietnamese participants, led by Marie Dao, translated this into Vietnamese and paid a lot of attention to making sure it was suitably poetic and sounded authentically Vietnamese.



Then we were able to practice singing with English and Vietnamese versions.

The next stage is to create an Indigenous language version. Watch this space or, better still, come along to the concert and be entranced.


My Town - lyrics & movie - English version

'My Town'

My town has many streets,
Named from flowers and birds.
These things lift my heart,
And purify my soul.

(created by participants in the Stories and Songs of Inala Yarning Place Project - 2008)



Here's a short movie of the workshop working version.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fresh From the Ground

Fresh from the Ground

(hear a recording of the working draft - QuickTime best on broadband)

Come to Inala
It happens all the time.
Home made cooking,
That'll blow your mind.

Fresh from the ground,
Fresh from the vine,
It's good for the body,
It's good for the mind.

There's plenty of firewood
For umu and roast,
Taro and banana leaves
You're totoatu host.

Come to Inala
It's happens all the time.
Home made cooking,
That'll blow your mind.

Fresh from the ground,
Fresh from the vine,
It's good for the body,
It's good for the mind.

Mango sandwiches
and a strong cup of tea
biscuits for dunking
and a chocolate - Yes Please!

Pies, fish and chips
A working man's chow
Deadly porcupines
I wish I had some now!

Come to Inala
It's happens all the time.
Home made cooking,
That'll blow your mind.

Fresh from the ground,
Fresh from the vine,
It's good for the body,
It's good for the mind.

Rough leaf pines, Nectarines,
Spring rolls, Black Eyed Beans,
Watermelon, Blunder Road Grapes,
Prickly pear, Beans on toast,
Kuppamurri, Warm damper ,
Mango sandwiches, Raisin toast
Doondle Grubs, Gerringna,
Suckling Pig and ........ Vegemite!

(Project draft version of 'Fresh From the Ground' created by the participants in the 'Stories and Songs from the Inala Yarning Place Project' on Saturday 9th February, 2008. More information and sound files can be found at www.inalayarningplace.blogspot.com or from
Karen Tunny and Daryll Bellingham, 3846 3135)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Lyrics - Everybody Knows Inala But do you know Biota Street?

Everybody knows Inala
But do you know Biota Street?
Fish and chips at Tony's,
Chandlers for the first TV.

Pinball machines and fish cakes,
Still put a smile on my face,
Jumble sales and street stalls,
Cruisin at an easy pace.

Down Biotoa Street, Down Biota Street,
Down Biota Street, Down Biota Street.

Baby cryin in the pram,
Frangipannis, Kickin cans,
The TAB's long gone now,
I have to use the hole in the wall.

Chorus x 2
Whistle

I remember the black Santa Claus,
Dr. White and the hairdresser.

Chorus x 2

Everybody knows Inala
But do you know Biota Street?
Fish and chips at Tony's,
Chandlers for the first TV

Chorus x 2
Whistle