TJUPURRU
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TJUPURRU

Bagnolet, Île-de-France, France | SELF

Bagnolet, Île-de-France, France | SELF
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Tjupurru is an artist mixing cultures, technologies and sounds from
over thousands of years to bring something unique to the current music
scene. - OZ Arts


One-man band, player of the face bass and didjeribone (yes, that’s a cross between didjeridu and trombone) and performer at this year’s LoopFest, TJUPURRU, answers some questions for RAVE.

When did you first hear the didjeribone?

Charlie McMahon played it for me in 1998 at a New Year’s rave near Broken Head. I got my first one not long after.

When you’re playing the face bass, what kind of things are you doing with your mouth to make those incredible noises?

I use a combination of vocal sounds mixed and mashed with didj blowing techniques that included tongue flicking, variation of cheek movement and different breathing patterns.

Are you planning to check out anyone in particular among the other performers at LoopFest?

I won’t be missing any show at LoopFest. It’s not often we get the chance to see these world class musicians in Brisbane, let alone at one venue all together!

What kind of music do you listen to?

Handel, Marley, ACDC, UB40, Kitaro, Gondwanaland, That1Guy, Deep Purple, CCR, Salif Keita, Yabu Band, Tete, Cajun ... I love it all! Mmm, not too keen on opera singers!

Does it get lonely being a one-man band?

I’m always on the road meeting people who organise the gigs, the stage crews, punters, etc. So it’s not lonely in that sense. Being away from my wife and kids is the lonely part of the work, but I reckon everyone else who has to travel away from home as part of their job and has a family, experiences the same thing. - Rave Magazine


This is some of the most unbelievable stuff I have ever heard - KCRW


Merging the traditional sounds of the didjeridu with the sonic palette of the electronic spectrum, Tjupurru creates soundscapes that are as rich as they are diverse.


What makes ‘The Didjeribone’ unique compared to other didjeridus? The Didjeribone is a hybrid instrument that combines both the didjeridu and the trombone. Because of its engineering and design qualities, it slides effortlessly which allows players to produce the sounds of both instruments and raises the creativity level when combining the two sounds.

How exciting is it for you to play a traditional instrument like the didjeridu within the electronic music sphere?
I've always enjoyed listening to different genres of music that have evolved over the years and always tried playing along with all of them, all the while testing out different fx pedals to suit the different music. Electronic music has allowed the world to evolve not only with creative acts, but also with incredible sound and lighting equipment that altogether produce nice smiles and positive energy amongst those people exposed to it.

You’ve toured all over the world; as a performer how important is it to travel and be exposed to different cultures, but also sharing Aboriginal customs?
Travelling somewhere in the world, if at all possible, should be made compulsory for all people. The opportunity to learn how people live with their own social and cultural influences in a foreign country such as history, religion, language, art, music etc allows me to understand and be more tolerant and respectful of people who are different because of their heritage. I've been lucky that my music has enabled me to travel into places that most tourists don't venture and the sharing of our different cultures through music and stories with other indigenous people has always been a special time.

Do you still get strange looks when you pull the didjeridu out at a dance festival?
I think the looks are more of anticipation when I walk out with my Didjeribone, but they change to smiles once the sound begins. My music carries the concept of a modern day Corroboree which celebrates music, song and dance so when I deliver it as a one man band nice things seem to happen. Thankfully there are nice people out there who create festivals like Southern Oracle that give me the chance to share my music. - Scene Magazine


Discography

Tjupurru Global Groove

Photos

Bio

Landmark Didjeribone player Tjupurru might well say hes been collaborating for thousands of years with his ancestors, the land, and the histories of Australia. A proud descendant of the Djabera Djabera people, Tjupurru taught himself to play didj through a vacuum cleaner pipe while at boarding school. He has held a lifelong fascination with marrying ancient sounds with contemporary tools, having long utilised technology to serve the organic process of making music. Tjupurru uses a series of looping pedals and electronic effects to create didjetronica a genre that is at once tribal and totally modern.
Live, he uses Charlie McMahons creations the Didjeribone (a PVC instrument that is a cross between a didjeridu and a trombone) and the Face Bass sensor, which translates vibration into sound, creating a wall of auditory power that has to be seen to be heard to be believed.
In 2011 he takes it all to a new level with his album Global Grove.
Since the release of his debut EP Stompin Ground, Tjupurrus musical trajectory has taken him all over the world, introducing him to some truly prolific artists who have been floored by his innovative approach to music and wanted to be involved. With a truly synchronous approach to those connections, and out of that shared energy provided by his musical family and friends, the Global Grove project was born with the aim of harnessing the musical and creative input of Tjupurrus connections from around the world.
Global Grove sees musical meetings with over a dozen artists, all from completely different areas of Tjupurrus life. To give you an idea: Grammy award winners Don Grusin, Jeff Coffin, Justo Almario, and Charlie Bisharat contributed from across the seas all friends made during Tjupurrus travels. Queensland musician Wes Taylor added his guitar stylings and studio space as a Brisbane hub for musicians Kitch Wesche, Efiq Zulfiqar and Dale Rabic. Indigenous support comes from Yolung artist Gambirra and Nathaniel Andrew, now based in the US. Tjupurrus Top Shelf stablemates Ben Walsh and Bobby Singh (The Bird, Circle of Rhythm), and renowned multi-instrumentalist Bob Brozman added their world rhythms, with award winning composer Caitlin Yeo, also a multi-instrumentalist, on board with flute and accordion. Tjupurrus family took part, with his 15 year old son Geoffrey bringing his unique didjboxing to the mix as well as his Didjeribone playing, and 18 year old nephew Luke Fabila on clarinet.
After meeting seminal producer Lee Groves (Goldfrapp/Gwen Stefani/Black Eyed Peas) at the 2009 AIR Awards, the project started taking on life, as Groves used his expertise to direct the machinations of this truly worldwide musical and technological collaboration. The result is a 15 track epic, inspired by the journeys of Tjupurrus ancestors, resonating with sound and texture, facilitated by the passion of craft of Lee Groves, and featuring some of the worlds finest musicians, including 5 Grammy Award winners.
As Tjupurru says, The Global Grove project has proven to me that in this day and age, and with the technology that people have created, SHARING between people is easy and we should do it more often!