The Making of the 2018 Milpirri Soundtrack
The Milpirri soundtrack is created in stages, a process that is led by musician Monkey Marc (Marc Peckham) and this year assisted by MC and lyricist Mantra (Rob Tremlett) and Tracks Animateur Kelly Beneforti. The final soundtrack features many voices from the community, from children as young as eight right up to prominent Lajamanu elders.
Delving into the themes with Jampijinpa and Jangala
The first stage involved extensive discussions with Steve Jampijinpa Patrick and his father Jerry Jangala Patrick to explore and refine the themes for the Milpirri performance. The themes for Milpirri 2018 are taken directly from the Jurntu ceremony, which is a Warlpiri ceremony that revolves around lessons of Law. Each ‘colour group’ deals with a different aspect of Law, appropriate to the kinship system from which the colour system has been derived.
Monkey captured this conversation for archival and documentation purposes, even though most of it doesn’t end up directly in the Milpirri soundtrack. Mantra used the information to create colour group summaries and voice-over scripts, which bring the often complex and layered ideas into a more succinct form that are appropriate for kids, and that non-Warlpiri people can grasp.
Writing and recording with the kids
Recording the voice-overs
Marc and Kelly also found willing young men from the community, at least one from each of the colour groups, to record this dialogue so as to include many more voices in the soundtrack. In discussion with the women it was decided that for this Milpirri - based around the Jurntu ceremony of law and order – it was important to have men speaking about the themes, although women have their own significant role within the understanding, teaching, practicing and upholding of Warlpiri law. The men who were recorded are Roger Japaljarri Jurrah, Liam Jangala Patrick, Walter Jangala Wesley, Matthew Jakamarra Patterson, Shaun Japanangka Johnson, and Max Japanangka Gordon.
Finally, Steve’s father, Jerry Jangala Patrick, came into the recording ‘studio’ to assist with the difficult job of translating the colour group dialogue into Warlpiri, which took lengthy discussion, debate and collaboration between father and son.