In an extraordinary meeting of cultures, the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir (CAAWC) performs German hymns and other sacred music in the traditional Western Arrarnta and Pitjantjatjara languages. Some of these songs were taught and translated into local language by German missionaries more than a century ago. Formed in 2010, the 35-strong choir is comprised of choirs from six remote Indigenous communities in the NT. Their signature works reveal a peerless Australian musical confluence of Baroque and Romantic era choral arrangements, centuries-old Sacred hymns, locked and carried through time in ancient Aboriginal languages. Their performances provide a rare insight into a vital but largely unknown aspect of Aboriginal culture in the Central Desert.
Arrkanala Lyilhitjika – The Joy of Singing
The CAAWC has been described as Australia’s answer to the Buena Vista Social Club! A group of strong and talented Song Women from remote communities (supported by three wise men!) have been taking the world by storm with their stirring harmonies, unique tonality and intercultural amalgam of Romantic era and Baroque musical arrangements, German sacred poetry (hymns) and 60,000-year-old continuously spoken languages, right here in our Australian backyard! Come and meet these remarkable First Australians, hear their incredible story, learn something new about your country – and yourself - and, in this International Year of Indigenous Languages, leave with the memory of one beautiful tune, and some words from two of the most ancient languages in the world.