A rush of interest in Gurrumul’s final album: the critically-acclaimed Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) saw numerous retailers around the country sell out of stock over the weekend, as the late artist’s label Skinnyfish Music and distributor MGM acted (and continued to act) swiftly to keep up with demand.
According to mid-week sales projections, the record will debut in the top three of the ARIA Albums chart this weekend, with a solid chance of landing the number one spot.
“We are in disbelief. Even as an optimist this would be difficult to believe; that Australia would embrace such a step away from the norm so immediately”, Gurrumul’s producer and musical collaborator Michael Hohnen said of this outpouring of interest in the album.
“His was a refreshingly honest voice, expressing and sharing Yolngu life with truth and purity. This country sometimes learns about Indigenous culture through clickbait headlines, ill-informed political speeches and shock jocks. Djarimirri is the antidote- a simple and pure telling of his clan’s life and culture through music, the truly universal language.
“Despite working on this album with him for years, I speak to his family now and they point out many culturally significant words and meanings in the music that even I didn’t even know he had placed there. This album gives those who open their minds an understanding of Indigenous culture that transcends words and language and will continue to open its stories to us over the years as we continue to listen.
“It says a lot about where we’re at as a country and a society that the most listened to, the most purchased and talked-about piece of music across the country this weekend is a crossover classical album completely in Indigenous languages by a blind singer from a remote island off the Northern Territory coast. This country seems ready to listen.”