GURRUMUL's last studio album is like nothing you've ever heard.
Published nine months after his early death at the age of 46, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunuping's Djarimirri (Rainbow of Rainbow) can be the most ambitious and unique Australian record made.
Like Gurrumul, mixing the two worlds with traditional and modern music, Djarimirri mixes the precious native songs from his Gumaty and Galpu clans with intricate orchestral events.
The 12 traditional chants or songs from Northeast Arnhem Land tell stories of crow, octopus, freshwater, crocodile and sunset among other original totems.
The album drove to No. 3 on iTunes cards at the release on Friday, much to relieve Gurrumul's long-lasting friend and collaborator Michael Hohnen.
It took more than four years with careful work to record, from consultation with its elders, to construct the song notes with notes that orchestra in strings were used to recreate didgeridoo patterns.
The effect is another worldly music for the soundtrack Gurrumul's English and characteristic voice.
Just days before his death, Hohnen and Mark Grose, the leader of Gurrumul's Skinnyfish label has spent several months working with the musician's family on the delicate business to release his work.
The family allowed his name, voice and imagery to be used after his funeral last year to preserve his musical legacy.
"He gave us pride and he would be proud. This music represents us," said his cousin Johnathan Yunupingu.
"We have a real chance of achieving an historic moment this week at the opportunity to put an album entirely in language from our country in the # 1 ARIA chart position that would create the story forever and make a great story for G , his people in Galiwinku and Arnhem Land and across the whole country. "
Hohnen said that the unique blend of traditional songs and orchestral instruments was meant to" seduce the listener "even though they did not understand the language.
"When you hear these chants and songs in the bush in a traditional Yolngu setting, it's hard for you and I to get our heads around: It's almost out of reach for the western ear," said Hohnen.
"The goal was to present traditional songs, their repeated nature and harmonies in a revered and beautiful way that unites our musical culture and his musical culture."
Hohnen said they borrowed about $ 80,000 to start the project , hire members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Symphony to play parts and notes that were difficult and unknown to them.
Gurrumul was a demanding perfectionist in the studio who wanted to race back in the control room to listen to each section of his vocal or orchestra.
"He just wanted to say," It's not finished yet, Michael "if he was not happy. It was his way of saying we had to go on," said Hohnen.
"He wanted it right. There are 10,000 Yolngu speakers up there, and one of the most important things for them is not getting anything wrong, otherwise it will continue because their culture is an oral tradition. They are obsessed with things to be done in the right way. "
Blind from birth, Gurrumul appeared as one of Australia's most distinct and talented vocalists and songwriters, toured around the world, performing for President Barack Obama as well as collaborating with artists as different as Sting and Sarah Blasko, Briggs and Delta Goodrem.
A documentary called Gurrumul, which spores his life from birth to the production of his greatest album Djarimirri, will be released on April 26th.