In preparation for this piece, Suss Müsik took some time to research Wiradjuri history.
We learned how during the 1820s, war broke out between the Wiradjuri and white British colonists just west of Sydney. We learned about vigilante groups who were formed to roam the Bathurst plains, hunting down the Wiradjuri as if they were wild animals. And we read about a local homestead owner who poisoned the water hole from which the Wiradjuri took refuge.
Timothy Leary once said that all suffering is caused by being in the wrong place. Suss Müsik thinks that’s a crock. When consciously inflicted upon others with the cruelest of intentions, suffering is unavoidable — every place we go is the wrong place simply because someone doesn’t want us there.
“There is an elasticity in the human mind,” wrote Charles Caleb Colton, “which [is] capable of bearing much but will not show itself until a certain weight of affliction be put upon it.” Listening to traditional Wiradjuri music recalls ancestral spirits: the rhythm is insistent, a series of singular beats that grow in intensity during performance.
For this cinematic piece, Suss Müsik combined field recordings of water with the sounds of homemade percussion and looped echo effects. Pieces of wood were clacked together to create the nuance of rhythm, upon which various reed tones were played using an EWI device. Although the result is a little longer than anticipated, we felt it was important to let things breathe a bit during transitions.
The piece is titled Yindymarra, named after the Wiradjuri word for doing things with kindness and in good time. The image is the Wiradjuri symbol for “meeting place.”
Many thanks to Jason Richardson for opening this window to a part of history of which we were unfamiliar.