‘Music is a singular language for everybody and as long as that beat’s going, everybody will move together.’
A great insight from Elverina Johnson, the Producer of the Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival.
‘That’s an analogy that we can put forward in our own demonstration of who we are as a race, but also as a nation,’ Elverina said
During the International Year of Indigenous Languages Yarrabah is just one of the events funded through the Australian Government’s Festivals Australia program with a strong focus on the mix of music and language.
‘There’s so many different ways you can push language, but music is one of them,’ Elverina said.
‘Music evolves and our culture is evolving all the time, as well. There’s people always finding different ways to keep culture going. You have to keep up with the times, as well. A lot of the younger performers and writers are putting it in their hip-hop music and other forms of creativity.’
Patrick Mau Power, a hip hop artist from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, agrees.
‘Music is one of the elements that Indigenous peoples use for storytelling, but also documenting knowledge. Through music and dance, we’re able to pass the knowledge and culture to the next generation,’ Patrick said.
Watch our video to hear more from Elverina and Patrick.