New Release: To Listen, To Sing

Five years on from the initiation of Ngarra-Burria: First Peoples Composers, we are extremely proud to announce that the first CD of works from the program is out now on ABC Classic.

Ngarra-Burria (“To listen, to sing”, in the Dharug language of the Sydney area) is an internationally award-winning program that builds bridges for First Peoples musicians to step forward, further develop their composing skills, and connect with the art music sector. Initiated by Dharug composer Chris Sainsbury in 2015/16, the program takes composers on a voyage of deep participation with mentoring, workshops, recordings and performances.

“Our program is about Indigenous-led change,” says Dr Sainsbury. “Compared to their counterparts in fields such as the visual arts, film, theatre and dance, First Peoples composers have been under-represented in Australia. The music created through the Ngarra-Burria program presents some of the lesser-known narratives of this country.”

Ngarra-Burria was internationally recognised as a recipient of the 2022 Classical:NEXT Innovation Award.

Performed by Ensemble Offspring, this album celebrates the creative vision of 12 of the program’s leading alumni: Eric Avery, Rhyan Clapham (Dobby), Marlene Cummins, Brenda Gifford, Tim Gray, James Henry, Will Kepa, Mark ‘Munk’ Ross, Troy Russell, Elizabeth Sheppard, Nardi Simpson and Aaron Wyatt. Each composer brings to their music the stories of their own country and peoples, as well as drawing on their extensive experience as established performing artists across a broad range of genres.

“We’re not new, just previously unheard.” – Christopher Sainsbury, Artistic Director of Ngarra-Burria

2019 Ngarra-Burria Cohort and Partners