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Folk Music and Folklore of the Northern Rivers
Rediscovered Northern Rivers songs and tunes from the Library’s collections have revealed a colourful and complicated history defined by a diverse range of people’s relationship to place. From the experiences of the many peoples of the Bundjalung nation; to the first waves of colonisation by squatters and cedar-getters in exploitation of land, people and timber; to the legacy of the Terania Creek Protests and the regions ongoing environmental struggles – Luke’s attempt to ‘tell’ a neat conclusive narrative of the Northern Rivers through music proved as impossible as an attempt to bail out the Clarence with a bucket. Instead, Luke’s fellowship presents many different pails from the never-ending stream of Northern Rivers stories in hopes of inspiring a richer appreciation for the region’s complex history.
Stylistically Luke has reinterpreted source recordings of solo singers, box-players and fiddlers into contemporary compositions arranged for a new 7-piece ensemble: The Big Scrub Revival Band.
Luke Byrnes is the 2020 National Folk Fellow, supported jointly by the National Folk Festival and the National Library of Australia.