Songs from the 2006 SBS television program 'Remote Area Nurse'.
"On first viewing a rough cut of RAN, I was impressed by the way the film-making team had captured that indefinable 'sense of place', the way in which it was shot, the language used, the issues dealt with, the quality of acting and the production design. So it was imperative for the the soundtrack to also have that sense of place. he aim was to not only create a soundtrack for the film, but also showcase most of the important Torres Strait artists. For many Australian viewers, RAN may be their first introduction to Torres Strait Island stories, pictures and culture.
This was a primarily collaborative project. Many talented people contributed to the creation of this music. Albert David and I had worked together previously on the Sing Sing festival. He is a fantastic dancer and choreographer and has great knowledge and passion for the music and dance of his place. I initially brought Albert in to my Enormodome studio to put microphones on his body and get him to dance and record the slaps, claps and vocal calls. The quality in his voice on traditional songs such as Oedali, Ikok and Goeyga Buya is textural and evocative. Albert also accompanied me on a trip to Thursday and Hammond Islands where we not only recorded the RAN choir but went out bush recording frog and insect sounds, the ocean and bush, church bells and boat noises, as well as Albert dancing and stomping in puddles. These formed the basis for many of the rhythms and textures in the score.
Norah Bagira, who plays the part of Lucy in the series and is a wonderful singer, brought together a Torres Strait all-star choir comprising many of the great names of TSI music. The big choir sound is something identifiable with the islands and this is a feature of the score.
Torres Straight Island Media Association manager Aven Noah assisted me in listening through the hours of wonderful archived material at the radio station. It was here that we discovered the classic Biston Special singing Inor Wande Go. From the first hearing I realised it must be included in the soundtrack. TSIMA's collection of musical recordings are important and they have archived traditional, stringband and choral recordings from over the years.
Renowned Murray Island singer Ricardo Idagu or as he is known, King Kadu, spent many days in the Enormodome recording island guitar and ukulele feels and, playing together with Albert, hours of Warup, Marupand shakers that became the percussive beds for much of the score. Kadu has such a beautiful voice. His album Listen to my Drum is definitely worth purchasing.
There are PNG bamboo flutes played by the maestro, Pius Wasi, in the score. The PHNG connection is an interesting one. Having a great passion for PNG music, I can see the songlines that flow from PNG down through the Torres Straight into Aboriginal Australia. Torres Straight culture is very Melanesian. It's a historical twist of fate that led some colonial buffoon to draw a line on a map that made one side of the line a Queensland protectorate and the other side an Independent nation (now, or a previously mandated territory of Australia). In fact, from the Torres Strait Island of Saibai you can see the mainland of the western province of PNG. the people have obviously been trading with each other for centuries. They share similar traditional languages and their music also shares common ground.
Finally, Not Drowning, Waving sound mixer and soundscape artist, Tim Cole, collaborated with me, putting in many passionate hours crafting the sounds and songs. He also co wrote some of the score. He was invaluable. Tim would share with me that this was a wonderful project to be involved with and the work a labour of love.
Six hours of television has led to 90 minutes of TI music and a score covering many moods, atmospheres and textures. People in the Torres Strait have known for years that this level of talent exists but perhaps the rest of Australia is only beginning to find out.
I sincerely hope this is one of the many positive outcomes that this series brings about. A big esso (thanks) to all the artists involved." - David Bridie
released December 16, 2013
Soundtrack produced by David Bridie
Original Score by David Bridie
Mixing, Engineering and Programming by Tim Cole
Recorded at the Enormodome.
Ti Music Coordinator: Norah Bagiri with assistance from Charles Passi, Ricardo Idago, Aven Noah and Albert David.
Albert David (vocals, warups, marups, sea urchin rattles, lumut, and body percussion)
Ricardo Idagu (Kadu) (vocals, acoustic guitar, ukulele and whistles)
Norah Bagiri and Charles Passi
The Arparka Singers
Biston Special (guitar and vocals)
Pius Wasi (mambu)
Graham Lee (pedal steel)
Rose Ertler (ukulele)
David Abiuso (piano accordian, double bass)
Phil Wales (guitar noises)
Tim Cole (guitar noises, soundscapes)
David Bridie (organ, keyboards, soundscapes)
Ben Hakalitz (kundus, shakers and garamuts)
Airi Ingram (kundus, shakers and garamuts)
Thursday Island RAN Choir:
Recorded at Thursday Island high school music department by David Bridie.
Masig Island RAN Choir:
Gin Gin Harry
Vida S Warria
Recorded on Masig Island on set by Greg Burgmann, Glenn Townson, Annie Lui, Christina Klose. On location recordings from Thursday and Hammond Islands recorded by David Bridie and Albert David
Thank yous / big esso: Dr Karl Neuenfeldt, Aven Noah and TSIMA, Helen Packhurst, Penny Chapman, Albest's sister and bros-in-law on Hammond, Norah Bagiri, Jacqui Geia, Stephen Page, Russel Bradley, Chris Gough, Bernard Galbally, Lynne Hamilton, Stella and Winnie Bridie.
Photography: Penny Chapman, Ian Jones & Murray Lui
Art and design: Russel Bradley
Wantok Musik aims to generate and foster various cultural exchanges between Australia and our neighbours throughout Oceania by establishing a leading, not-for-profit Music Label representing First Nations and World Music groups of this unique region.