Working with project partners, translators and Aboriginal Elders in Coonabarabran, Simon will be the songwriter Artist-in-Residence. The project will give the Simon and the community the time to develop strong relationships and the trust needed so that the stories and songs will honour the protocols and Lore ways of the community.
Simon and the project team will visit the community for 3 days at a time, culminating in an album release with the recordings of children singing their songs in language for the Elders
Globally, approximately 600 Indigenous languages have disappeared in the last 100 years. Currently, a language disappears from the world every two weeks. 1 to 2 Aboriginal languages are lost every year in Australia.
Today: Fewer than 150 Aboriginal languages remain in daily use, and all except about 20 are highly endangered. Of the languages that endure, only 10% are being learned by children, and those languages are usually located in the most isolated areas.
Only 7 Aboriginal languages have more than 1000 speakers.
The Sing It In My Language project connects Elders, children and community with a dedicated Artist-In-Residence to build the bridge between generations and support the creation of new, original and unique songs.
Simon Mellor is a professional songwriter with over 30 years’ experience touring regional Australia. Simon has worked with extraordinary artists and musicians including Merri May Gill, Peter Browne, Arnold Dreislma, Victoria Edwards, Anh Do and once played guitar for John Paul Young at the Variety Bash Breakfast in Moree.
In 2016, Simon was invited to take up a year’s artist residency at the Kiah Preschool in Moree, and began to understand the power and impact of songs in Language for kids. He worked with Elders and translators to learn and write songs in Aboriginal Language, Gamilaraay. Simon wants to continue this work in Coonabarabran, creating an album of songs for the children and Elders of the community. Focusing on Wiradjuri, Simon will work for a year to create songs.
As a Match Lab artist, a dollar-for-dollar offer is available to double the power of your donation!