Sounds of the Kimberley come together

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Tornina Torres recording her track at the Sounds of the Kimberley pop-up recording studio.
Camera IconTornina Torres recording her track at the Sounds of the Kimberley pop-up recording studio. Credit: Nigel Bird

The Sounds of the Kimberley looks set to shake up the airwaves, with recording for the West Australian Music project having wrapped up.

During the past month, WAM regional officer Nigel Bird and a team of WA’s best producers set up shop in Broome to develop a pop-up recording studio in a heritage-listed pearler’s warehouse to record original songs by 10 chosen Kimberley musicians for a compilation album to be released next year.

Artists who took part in the recording project included Arnold McKenzie (Derby), Damar Isherwood (Broome), Dodge City Boys (Halls Creek), Elly Ottenhoff (Kununurra), Hillside Band (Bayulu Community), Lenny Gordon (Yiyili Community), Main River Band (Girriyoowa Community), Monique Le Lievre (Broome), Rocky Ridge Band (Wangkatjunka Community), and Tornina Torres (Broome).

Mr Bird said the recording team were “really stoked” with how each of the 10 tracks had turned out after recording them in a number of weeks.

“It’s going to be tough doing the track listing because each one has turned out really strong,” he said.

“The sound engineers really enjoyed working with the Kimberley artists and I’m positive the artists enjoyed the experience as well.

“We can’t wait to get the Sounds of the Kimberley into people’s ears.”

Mr Bird said seeing the interaction between the sound engineers and the artists, particularly those who came from a remote community, and the positive exchange was a highlight for him.

“Watching that exchange and the creations of their songs were some of the special highlights for me, having done a number of these recording projects already,” he said.

“We knew this was only going to scratch the surface of what the Kimberley has to offer so we’re confident we can do this for a few more years, especially after 95 artists applied.

“It’s going to be a really positive snapshot of Kimberley music in 2019.”

The Sounds of the Kimberley compilation album is anticipated for release in May, 2020, with hopes of an album launch party at Sun Pictures.

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