Murru MR - Melbourne Festival

 Melbourne Festival and Big hART in Association with the Bardas Foundation present MURRU (Australia) 10 Songs of Freedom for John Pat Big hART In an uplifting concert to mark the opening of this year’s Melbourne Festival, Big hART joins forces with a luminous range of talents for a musical tribute to John Pat – a 16 year old Yindjibarndi man who died in a Roebourne police cell over thirty years ago. An extraordinary line up of artists including Archie Roach, Lucky Oceans, Emma Donovan, John Bennett, Harry Hookey, and many more come together for one towering evening of song. Combining breathtaking imagery from the Pilbara region with beautiful harmonies and arrangements, Murru is an exuberant and heartbreaking celebration of our country – a hymn to the land and its people, a remembrance of those we’ve lost and a paean of hope for the future. In 2013 professional musicians and singers/songwriters were invited to collaborate on song-­‐writing with Roebourne Regional Prison inmates and community members to write and record tracks for a tribute album, Murru -­‐ the name given to John by his mother and immediate family because of the unique feather-­‐
shaped birthmark on his back. The aim of the album was to raise funds for a memorial to be built in Roebourne (his mother’s wish) and to create discussion around the need for strategies to reduce Indigenous incarceration rates. John Pat’s death in September, 1983 prompted the Australian government to instigate the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC). Twenty three years have passed since the RCIADIC handed down its 339 recommendations and the problem of Indigenous over-­‐representation has worsened in that time until currently, just over one in four adults in prison (26%) and over half (51%) of youths in juvenile detention are Indigenous. Presenting Partner The Murru concert is part of Big hART's One in Two campaign, working to change our current Juvenile 'Injustice' System, to something more just. Murru is the result of over three and a half years of music workshops as part of the Yijala Yala Project, a long term, multi-­‐platform, intergenerational cultural heritage project also represented in this year’s program by art and social change organisation, Big hART’s production of Hipbone Sticking Out. The Yijala Yala Project is sponsored by Woodside-­‐operated Pluto LNG through its Conservation Agreement with the Australian Government. Directly before the MURRU concert to mark the beginning of the 2014 Melbourne Festival, Federation Square hosts TANDERRUM for a second year – a powerful event and celebration of the ground we stand on and of the people whose ancestors walked it before our time. FEDERATION SQUARE Fri 10 Oct at 7.30pm 1 hr 20 mins, no interval Free