26 September 2023

Mother Tongue

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Kutcha Edwards, Independent 2023.

Highly respected first nations singer/songwriter Kutcha Edwards has released a beautiful single that extols the virtues of our indigenous languages as well as acknowledging the myriad of other languages spoken in Australia.

Mother Tongue was written by Kutcha while sitting on a mountain top in Bunurong Country between the third and fourth covid lockdowns.

The proud Mutti Mutti songman is a stolen generation survivor and he sees his purpose as bringing about change through song.

He says that “as I looked across the hills and the ocean I could see and feel what’s been done to Country. I’m also the lived experience of what’s been done here. I heard voices calling to me from near and far. This song, Mother Tongue. The languages we hear are not just mine. They’re yours… they’re ours.”

The chorus “djirrung, djirrung, djirrung can’t be faithfully translated to English but Kutcha likens it to the Buddhist ‘OM’ chant. “It hopefully takes you to that place between the physicality of yourself and a place of contentment”.

Kutcha has a beautiful voice that is not dissimilar to that of the late great Jimmy Little and Mother Tongue is a powerful song.

The track was recorded by Chris Townend and Tim Kling at Mona’s Frying Pan studios in Tasmania and it was produced by Richard Pleasance.

Emily Wurramara joins Kutcha on the track singing in her own mother tongue, a language different to Kutcha’s, and more indigenous voices belonging to Sue Ray and Jay Jerome also provide backing vocals.

Mother Tongue truly is an indigenous multi-cultural experience.

Kutcha will be performing at headline concerts in Sydney, Melbourne, regional NSW and Darwin throughout June and July.

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