• The recording, released by pioneering folk music label  Wattle Records, is responsible for bringing widespread attention to the didgeridoo, or yidaki. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
An album that introduced the yidaki to Australian popular culture introduced to the Sounds of Australia registry.
By
Mikele Syron

Source:
NITV News
20 Nov 2020 - 11:50 PM  UPDATED 20 Nov 2020 - 11:50 PM

The National Film and Sound Archive this week announced that a 1963 recording titled, Arnhem Land Popular Classics, was introduced to the Sounds of Australia registry. 

The recording, released by pioneering folk music label  Wattle Records, is responsible for bringing widespread attention to the didgeridoo, or yidaki.

It will be the 22 Indigenous recording that has made it onto the registry in the 13 years since the project commenced.

Ten sound recordings are added to the register each year by the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) to acknowledge their defining impact in shaping Australian culture and history. 

NSFA curator Nick Henderson told NITV News on Friday that the introduction of the recording was significant given the Sounds of Australia Project was initiated to highlight the vast contribution of Australian recorded sound.

"This particular recording was the first popular or commercial release of the didgeridoo. It was the first time it had reached the popular audience in Australia and internationally, and it really sparked interest," said Mr Henderson.

The album features recordings of musical genres from across Arnhem Land, including Wonga from the west, Gunborg from the north-central region and Bunggul from the north-east.

The tracks were recorded in an improvised studio and comprise of compositions that feature the yidaki, including the work of songman Jolly Lajwonga and yidaki player David Bylandii.

Mr Henderson said that the addition of the Lajwonga-Bylandii track was unique because it brought together a number of different elements and highlighted the transition "between what people saw as anthropological recordings, into popular music".

The track had stood the test of time since its popular 1963 release, having enjoyed sustained success in each of its re-releases over the last six decades, said Mr Henderson.

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