• “I think the world has so much to learn from Aboriginal music and I think it’s very relevant in the 21st century," Eric Avery. (NITV)
Eric Avery is doing his best to bring Indigenous music and musicians front and centre.
By
Brooke Fryer

Source:
NITV News
9 Oct 2018 - 12:47 PM  UPDATED 10 Oct 2018 - 11:23 AM

Eric Avery captivated his audience over the weekend at an open day to mark the 30th anniversary of the Australian parliament house.

The talented musician, dancer, singer and composer performed original pieces and sang in his father's Ngiyampaa language.

Mr Avery is a proud Ngiyampaa, Yuin, Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung man from NSW.

“This is important for me to sing these songs in this space, because these songs represent the people, these songs represent a time of people that did not have wide access to a space like that,” he told NITV News.

“I think the world has so much to learn from Aboriginal music and I think it’s very relevant in the 21st century."

My Avery said that many people walked by when he was playing either the violin or piano, and it wasn’t until he started to sing, that people stopped what they were doing.

"I can show the world what Aboriginal people can do with their music.”

“When I started to sing, that’s when people decided to watch… that’s when people paid attention. That’s the feedback I’m getting a lot, to keep singing my songs,” Mr Avery said.

“For me to sing my songs while playing the violin… I can show the world what Aboriginal people can do with their music.”

Mr Avery devotes three hours to violin practice a day and has been a supporting act for Rhiannon Gibbens.

“The other time is used for study of what I’m playing and planning. It’s not just playing the notes, it’s also looking for notes and seeing how they relate to each other,” Mr Avery said.

But composing is a big part of what he does.

“I’ve composed for the Black Arm Band… I’ve also got to work with Luke Bennett and Jon Rose.”

Mr Avery also composed music for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra children's concert in 2017.

'It's Not About the Money': a musician speaks about his experiences as part of the Stolen Generations
Uncle Brian Morley was removed from his mother at two years old, he sings an ode to growing up separated from his family and tells an emotional story of his journey.

He began his musical journey at six years old, where he grew to love the piano during his time at school.

Later, he was given a toy violin that he learnt to play by ear before his first violin lesson in high school.

Mr Avery says he flourished at NAISDA Dance College.

“I got to hang around with my own people which was very nice to be in a learning environment with my own mob. You don’t get that in high school, I was the only black kid in the school,” Mr Avery said.

Mr Avery says moving to a second high school with other Aboriginal students also made a difference.

He is currently working towards creating a world first Indigenous orchestra.

“That will be a place where we can express, as Indigenous people, our musical contributions to the world,” Mr Avery said.

Three missing minutes: Why did Wayne Fella Morrison die in custody?
As the gruelling two-month inquest continues, the family of Aboriginal man Wayne Fella Morrison want someone to be held accountable for his death.
Years of inquests and lives on hold: Why did Shaun Coolwell die in custody?
Tragically, this isn’t the first death in custody for the family of Murri man Shaun Coolwell. Three years after he died, his family don't know when the inquest findings will be delivered.