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This Song is from Ever Since: Songs for Wägilak Country
Roy Ashley Waṉapuyŋu is a late senior Elder of the Wägilak clan of NE Arnhem Land. In late 2010 Liz Thompson and Simon Green travelled with him and his family to Beswick Falls, a remote and magical place in Jawoyn country and sat with him as he spoke about Wägilak stories and history.
They sat for four days in the shade of the paperbarks and Roy sang of Gaṉdjaḻaḻa, an ancestral spirit who gave law, language, songs and ceremonies to the Wägilak people.
A great funeral singer, Roy is responsible for singing the spirits of the Wägilak home to a place called Wukidi. He also shared fragments of Wata (Wind), the song, along which the spirits travel. These epic song cycles hold vast bodies of knowledge for those to whom they belong. The singing of them in their entirety, in a ceremonial context, might take days.
In these recordings made with Roy over those few days, he offered glimpses and insight into the incredible depth and beauty of that which he holds.
This Song is from Ever Since: Songs for Wägilak Country is a result of that journey and offered as a song itself for the wellbeing of people, Country and culture.
Producers: Liz Thompson and Simon Green
Engineer: Steven Tilley
Additional composition and sound design Simon Green
Additional audio and location recordings, Jane Ulman and Gretchen Miller
Special thanks to:
Roy Ashley Waṉapuyŋu
Yingiya Guyula – Yolngu Studies lecturer at Charles Darwin University
John Greatorex – Yolngu Studies Charles Darwin University
Miriam Lieberman, Gavin Spokes, David Page