Gurrumul by Gurrumul
Gurrumul was the debut solo album for singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu (1971–2017), referred to as Dr G Yunupingu since his death. It is the best-selling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music album in Australian history, having been awarded triple platinum status.
The University of Sydney granted Dr G Yunupingu an Honorary Doctorate of Music in 2012. Blind from birth, his musical education was largely self-taught and through cultural immersion; he learned drums, keyboards, guitar, didjeridu, foot stomping and calling, whooping, vocalisation of traditional songs, and more. Gurrumul is performed in a mixture of both Yolngu languages and English, with lyrics that often refer to traditional lore, and relationships with family and nature.
The album peaked at No. 3 on the ARIA chart but reached No. 1 on the independent chart and was an international success on world music charts. At the 2008 ARIA Awards the album won Best World Music Album and Best Independent Release, and also won three Deadly Awards for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Single of the Year for the track ‘Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind)’.
The autobiographical single, extracted here, represents many of the themes that connected Dr G Yunupingu’s music to his audience: his bilingual vocals, his personal story of blindness, and living across cultures.