Taking sounds of Australia abroad

Ganga Giri with Rasta vocalist, Jornick Joelick.
Ganga Giri with Rasta vocalist, Jornick Joelick.

"When I was in the US I went to the most amazing, creative festival on the planet called The Burning Man festival. It was in the desert in Rio. There was white dust, huge art installations, Spanish galleon ships built on semi-trailers, it was an amazing experience."

Ganga Giri and his band have been on tour through Canada, the US and New Zealand and have returned to Australia to play a bunch of festivals and gigs.

"It's great to get inspired by different places, write new material. We've got some new dub step and new dance tracks we've been working on."

Ganga is world renowned for his unique style on the didgeridoo. For those who have never heard his virtuosic rhythmic style, he describes it as a "dub, dance floor, tribal experience".

For the upcoming gigs he will be working with Rasta vocalist Jornick Joelick from French Guiana and local percussionist Yesche Reiner. Ganga used to live in Byron Bay from the mid 90s until 2004, and his memories of the North Coast are fond because of the great support he got for his music.

"I miss the shire very much. I live just outside of Melbourne now, a little bit bush, the closest I could get to the North Coast vibe with access to the city," he said. "I feel really loved and supported from the people up there. They're good people and it's a really community based area. When we gather in dance and song it's one of the best things in life."

It has been eight months since Ganga's latest album Good Voodoo was released and it has been quite successful.

"We've sold a lot of CDs and people are going wild on the dance floor when we play, so for us it feels like we're doing a good job."

Ganga is a self taught didgeridoo player and has spent a fair amount of time in Arnhem Land, where the instrument originates from.

"I wanted to be with the people, feel the land it came from. Coming from a drumming background I have a funk-grooves and beat box style through the didge. Spending time in Arnhem Land opened a lot of doors. I got invited to play at different ceremonies, it was amazing," he said.

Ganga said he hopes his music inspires people to take an interest in Indigenous culture.

"People in Canada and the US are very interested because it is so exotic. We're so lucky here in Australia, because the didgeridoo is a way to communicate with nature that we have all around us, something that we take for granted."

Ganga said he sees himself more as a producer and community facilitator these days; bringing groups of musicians together.

"I am trying to create a community experience both onstage and in the audience," he said. "For the gig back on the North Coast I hope to bring an amazing celebration of community and dance."

Ganga Giri is playing at Coorabell Hall this Friday night, February 24 with DJ Becca Dakini supporting. Doors open at 7.30pm for show at 8.30pm. It'll cost you $20 to be part of the community.

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