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Inside Yirinda's musical process ahead of Naarm recital

Inside Yirinda's musical process ahead of Naarm recital

Musical duo Yirinda (Fred Leone and Samuel Pankhurst) lift the curtain on their musical process ahead of their appearance at Melbourne Recital Centre. 

Performing their stunning single Yuangan (Dugong) from their self-titled debut album, the duo reinterprets a hunting and migratory song of the Butchulla people from the Fraser Coast region. A soul-stirring, string-led experimental composition, Yirinda seamlessly blends ambient soundscapes and classical elements with traditional language set to captivate audiences in the Primrose Potter Salon on 2 March.

We spoke with Yirinda about some of the music that shaped the curation of this special performance ahead of their appearance in the Primrose Potter Salon.

1. Yirinda – Yuangan

Yuangan was our first single, it’s the Dugong migration song. If you’ve ever heard of Urangan near Harvey Bay, that’s from the word Yuangan. The way we made our version of this song very much informed the album you’ll hear. Sam tracked Fred’s vocals first, listened and sat with those for a while, and then designed an elliptical accompaniment like the tide. We only add sounds that deepen the emotional reach of Fred’s voice.

2. Iannis Xenakis – Metastaeis

The music we arrange around the songs is generally done so with a specific visual experience in mind. Ideally, we’d like to make that an involuntary experience if possible, but there are only so many tricks that get you there.  Xenakis’ background as an architect comes through clearly in Metastaeis, a visual onslaught, big inspiration.

3. This Mortal Coil – Song To The Siren

It’s hard to think of a track with more emotional depth and download than Tim Buckley’s masterpiece rendered anew by TMC. We ask ourselves: could someone hear this music and still be moved while lacking an understanding of what the words mean? This track is an incredible yardstick for that. An impossibly beautiful encounter in an emotional landscape.

4. Atom TM – POP HD

‘From DC to Daylight’ is something audio people sometimes say when referring to how broad the sonics of the music are (or HIFI maybe?), and usually it’s kind of meaningless, but not for this track. Atom TM has some of the most insane sonics of all time, like tripping out. Although his aesthetic is really different to ours, Sam referenced this quite a lot during the production stages and we try very hard to bring it to the live show.

5. Yirinda – Balambeer

Balambeer is a Butchulla song about ‘How the Land got its colour’, written by Aunty Jeanie Bell circa 2007. We’ve been performing this as Yirinda from when we first began years ago. We noticed quickly that people would appreciate hearing the song, and then a whole other layer of appreciation would come as Fred explained the meaning. The beauty of a thing is almost always mediated by information external to it: we experiment relentlessly with sequencing that extra information before or after songs.

Don't miss Yirinda's performance in the Primrose Potter Salon on Saturday 2 March 7pm & 9pm. Click here to book.

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