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Songs for the soul
on 19 July 2009
I first heard Geoffery Gurrumul's voice on board a ship in the Southern Ocean; the CD belonged to an Australian lady passenger. The ship had an open bridge policy, and passengers would gather in the evenings to listen to the Captain's choice of classical music. Gurrumul's voice was a perfect background for the wild Ocean and the all-night Antarctic dusk.
When I returned home, I searched in vain for the CD, finally finding it on Amazon. Gurrumul's voice is haunting, pure, heartbreaking. It resonates deep inside, down to places inside you that thought didn't exist.
He was born blind, and sings in his local Maori dialect for the most part; songs of his own tribe, his own life experience. It is a CD to play when you need a quiet time, when the world is crushing you with it's demands; in the car in manic traffic; at home when you need to to to a place in your head where there is a mountain with cool air and gentle sun.
By far the most moving track is "Bapa" or "Papa". You don't need to translate, and it will stay in your head even after one play.
This man's music is going to be huge. He has already achieved cult status in Australia and among world music purists.