‘Bayini’ is a spiritual love song, an Australian classic hymn, and now a haunting duet between two iconic Australian voices. Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and Sarah Blasko, two of Australia’s most unique and respected multi-platinum, multiple ARIA Award winning vocalists, come together on ‘Bayini’ to present a new version of one of the most popular tracks from Yunupingu’s 2011 masterpiece ‘Rrakala’.
Gurrumul presents a story about connection to the land, an intriguing sentiment. In his fragile keening and emotive voice, Gurrumul expresses the spirit of Australia's land and ancestry. Blasko counterpoints with her own haunting contribution, completing the journey of a song that has meant so much to Gurrumul fans the world over.
Michael Hohnen, producer tells of the collaboration:
"This, for me, is the key song on ‘Rrakala’. The English verse wasn't working in Gurrumul's voice so we left it as all language on his ‘Rrakala’ album. After the album release we were heading to the UK and Gurrumul and I wanted a counter-balance for the English verse and approached Sarah Blasko, a fellow labelmate on Dramatico.
Sarah and I spoke about her voice embodying that female ancestral spirit character and I think she has captured it absolutely beautifully in even a more classical side to her voice, perfectly complementing Gurrumul. Gurrumul loves performing this live with Sarah."
Speaking from Sweden, where she is recording her new studio album, Sarah adds "You cannot help but be moved when you hear Gurrumul's voice, but to sing with him is another experience altogether. I must admit, I have been quite overwhelmed with emotion each time we have performed this song together and when I recorded my part. I don't think I was prepared for that. It's the combination of Gurrumul's voice and being invited into that very personal realm. To share in that is incredibly special. I am deeply affected each time I sing Bayini."
Gurrumul has had a busy and inspirational time bringing his near-platinum album ‘Rrakala’ to the world. Within a four week period, Gurrumul was chosen to perform for and meet The Queen, US President Barack Obama as well as Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark, cementing his place as an international sensation, capable of transcending cultural boundaries.
"Yolngu are deep thinking philosophical people. The words in the song refer to many families sitting together on the beach looking to waves and sea, the horizon, contemplating. Long ago from over the horizon the Bayini came to Yolngu country." John Gratorex, NT Australia, from Rrakala sleeve notes.