Gurrumul Yunupingu provides silent charisma

Gurrumul Yunupingu brings with him a feeling of place and his culture, according to collaborator Michael Hohnen.
Gurrumul Yunupingu brings with him a feeling of place and his culture, according to collaborator Michael Hohnen.

SINCE emerging on the scene as a member of Yothu Yindi, Aboriginal singer Gurrumul Yunupingu has gone on to become one of the most iconic artists in Australian music.

As well as having a host of awards to his name, Gurrumul has drawn other well-known artists to collaborate with him, including Sting and Delta Goodrem.

His inclusion as one of the headline acts at the inaugural Boomerang Festival looks set to make the three-day event into something very special.

Long-time friend and collaborator Michael Hohnen often speaks on behalf of the blind singer who only speaks a few words of English.

He has worked with Gurrumul for the past 15 years as a producer and bass player in his band.

"I don't want to overstate his significance as an artist, but there is definitely something going on when you come into his space," Mr Hohnen says.

"You feel different when you are in his presence. He has a silent charisma.

"I feel privileged to work with him. You can feel the weight of expectation on him. He brings with him a feeling of place and his culture.

"You become aware of the depth of his cultural significance.

"When you meet someone significant from another culture such as the Dalai Lama, you can see them switch from their own culture to Western culture, and Gurrumul is able to do the same thing."

Gurrumul does not do many live shows, and Mr Hohnen says the Boomerang show will be a quiet and intimate affair.

"But there will be a place in the middle of the concert that is more informal, and when he will be more accessible to the audience," he says.

"He is looking forward to being on the big festival stage with a big sound system and production.

"Gurrumul played Bluesfest three years ago and he loved performing there, and he loves Byron Bay.

"The fact that Boomerang is a multi-arts festival will change people's perspective.

"He will have family there, so it will put the songs in a whole new context and hopefully people will get more out of the experience."

As for working with other artists, Mr Hohnen says Gurrumul's recent collaboration with Delta Goodrem was especially significant.

"The production on that work was really high-end and sophisticated and Gurrumul really enjoyed that aspect of the work," he says.

"Seeing someone like Delta learning language and take on the character made Gurrumul and his family very happy.

"They were happy to see that surge of interest and to see another artist take it on in such a serious way. It was really very important to him."

Topics:  aboriginal art indigenous

Rubbish truck's load catches alight

A J.R. Richards and Sons rubbish truck container caught alight on the Pacific Highway.

Fire in skip bin causes traffic hold ups

South Grafton duxes awarded the honour 80 years apart meet

NOW AND THEN: Mary Austen and Molly Dungey who were both Dux of their years.

Two South Grafton Primary School Duxes meet, 80 years apart

UPDATE: Students, teachers held in school lockdown

Police were called to the high school after it was forced into lockdown.

School in lockdown due to altercation on premises

Local Partners

Elsa Pataky turns snake wrangler

CHRIS Hemsworth’s wife Elsa Pataky proved she is capable of dealing with Australia’s wildlife when she confronted a snake inside the couple’s Byron Bay home.

Jilted MAFS spouses break silence

MAFS contestants Tracey and Dean break their silence.

Tracey and Ryan break silence after affair is exposed.

Kate Middleton’s BAFTAs dress slammed

Stars don black in again to show solidarity with the #MeToo and Time's up campaigns...

Date set for Gold Coast Logies

Samuel Johnson with the Best Actor award at the 2018 Logies. Picture: AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Nine has finally announced the date for 2018 awards.

Kylie reveals ‘nervous breakdown’ over split

Kylie Minogue and Joshua Sasse split in February last year causing Minogue a ‘nervous breakdown’. Picture: Mark Milan/GC Images

'My physical system was compromised. I think it’s called a nervous breakdown'

I’m a Celeb outrage: ‘You’ve hit rock bottom’

David and Lisa Oldfield pose for a portrait at their home in Belrose.

VIEWERS vent their anger and disappointment at the latest intruders.

Screenworks gets funding to go national

Screenworks General Manager Ken Crouch.

Evolution program has received funding from Screen Australia