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WAM, Nannup Music Festival and Perth Festival bring regional acts to the big stage with Remote Artist Access Initiative!

21 Dec

Remote Artist Access Initiative sees Theona Councillor and Warralgurniya take the stage at Perth Festival and the sold-out Nannup Music Festival. 

West Australian Music (WAM), Nannup Music Festival and Perth Festival are proud to partner in delivering the second instalment of the Remote Artist Access Initiative (RAA). The program, launched in 2021, was developed to provide major festival performance opportunities for regional and remote First Nations artists.

Following success of the pilot program featuring Rocky Ridge Band and Main River Band, February 2022 sees Mid West region artists Theona Councillor and Warralgurniya perform at ‘Warranma! Sing in Language’ live event at Perth Festival featuring special guests, and March 2022 at the sold-out Nannup Music Festival. The two acts were featured on WAM’s ‘Sounds of The Mid West‘ regional recording compilation album released in April 2021. Their songs were celebrated widely across national airwaves, with playlisting on local and national ABC Radio, and extensive coverage on community radio in every state and territory. The two artists went on to receive nominations in the 2021 WAM Song of the Year competition, with Warralgurniya taking home the Best Global song of the year at the September 2021 event.

Naaguja woman,Theona Councillor, is an established artist known for her album releases, Diamond in the Rough (2001), Sweet Black Man (2007) and Cover Me (2013), and multiple award nominations including a Deadly Award for Country Artist of The Year. After taking some time away to immerse herself in her Naaguja Wangga, Theona returned with ‘Sounds of The Mid West’ lead single  ‘Ngaalija Yangoogoo Yaanaa’ (Come Let’s Walk Together). Since release of the song, Theona has commenced work on a new album of songs in Naaguja Wangga language.

Warralgurniya is a cross-cultural musical collaboration born from the language work of Thiinma Elder Peter Salmon, the last fluent speaker of the Thiinma and Warriyangga languages of the Upper Gascoyne region. Expertly weaving contemporary yarns informed by ancient knowledge, Peter Salmon collaborates with musician Rosie Sitorus to craft melodies and musical arrangements drawing on contemporary country, blues and folk influences, as well as his recollection of Thiinma song tradition taught to him by his old people. Musicians Jacqui Cook and Darcy Franz join to make up the quartet of Warralgurniya to bring Mr Salmon’s unique living history to life through music, and to share his mission to preserve his treasured Thiinma and culture.

WAM Regional Officer, Nigel Bird, says of the growing program, ‘Now in our second year of partnership, we hope the RAA initiative will deliver a great legacy over future years, one that audiences will be able to proudly recount having experienced performances by from multiple regional and remote First Nations artists, showcasing their songs and languages.’

2022 has seen the partnership evolve, with a special Perth Festival event curated to celebrate the songs and language shared by the two regional acts. ‘Warranma! Sing in Language’ held on Sunday 27 February at the B-Shed, Fremantle, will feature live performances from both artists and very special guests across a family friendly afternoon of activities. Tickets for the event are now available here.

You can catch Theona Councillor and Warralgurniya at the below shows!

‘Warranma! Sing in Language’
Sunday 27 February 2022 | 1pm – 5pm
B-Shed, Fremantle

Friday 4 March –  Monday 7 March 2022

Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The ArtsGovernment of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Lottery West, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.