Musicians

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

Origin
Gumatj nation, Elcho Island, North East Arnhemland, Northern Territory, Australia
Genre/styles
Folk | Gospel | Soul | Roots
About

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is the lead singer of the Saltwater Band and the former keyboard player and guitarist of Yothu Yindi. He also forged a successful solo career. He became the highest-selling Aboriginal artist in history, selling more than half a million copies of his albums, singing in Yolngu and some English.

Yunupingu died on 25 July 2017, aged only 46.

When I first started playing solo I was surprised when I was getting standing ovations... When I write music and play it, it gives me a place in both cultures. — Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

When [Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu] picked up his guitar and sang, there was reverential silence all around him. — The Australian

Listen to Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and you will surrender to the greatest voice this continent has ever recorded. — The Sydney Morning Herald

When I first saw beautiful singer... Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, this awakened me to become aware of Aboriginal affairs. — Reader's letter in the National Indigenous Times

Discography

Album formats explained Explain formats

  • 10": 10 inch vinyl records were played at 45 or 33 1/3 rounds per minute (rpm). The former could hold 9, the latter 12 minutes of music per side.
  • 7": 7 inch records (often referred to as 45s) were played at 45 rpm or 33 1/3 rpm, with about 4:30 or 6 minutes of music per side.
  • LP: Long play, is a vinyl record played at ​33 1⁄3 rpm with a 12 or 10-inch diameter.
  • EP: Extended play, are vinyl records that allowed two or even three songs on each side.

Gurrumul

Released
9 February 2008
Tracks
  1. Wiyathul
  2. Dja:rimirri
  3. Ba:pa
  4. Gurrumul history (I was born blind)
  5. Marrandil
  6. Marwurrumburr
  7. Galiku
  8. Baywara
  9. Ga:thu Ma:wula
  10. Galupa
  11. Wirrpangu
  12. Wukun
Notes

The album Gurrumul won the 2008 ARIA Best Independent Release Award and the 2008 ARIA Best World Music Album.


Wiyathul (Single)

Sorry, no image for: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Wiyathul (Single)
Released
2009
Tracks
  1. Wiyathul (Radio Edit)

Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind)

Sorry, no image for: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind)
Released
January 2009
Tracks
  1. Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind) [Single Edit]
  2. Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind)
  3. Gurrumul History
Notes

Promo release in cardboard sleeve cover


Gurrumul Live In Darwin, Australia

Released
13 July 2010
Tracks
  1. Djilawurr (Orange-Footed Scrub Fowl)
  2. Gathu Mawula
  3. Djarimirri
  4. Marrandil
  5. Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind)
  6. Wukun

Wukun (Loverush UK Remix)

Released
15 October 2010
Tracks
  1. Wukun (Loverush UK Remix) [Radio Edit]
  2. Wukun (Loverush UK Remix) [Long Version]
  3. Wukun (Loverush UK Remix) [Instrumental]

Gopuru

Sorry, no image for: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Gopuru
Released
2011
Tracks
  1. Gopuru

Gathu Mawula Revisited (Single)

Released
11 March 2011
Tracks
  1. Gathu Mawula Revisited
  2. Gathu Mawula Revisted (Radio Edit)

Rrakala

Released
8 April 2011
Tracks
  1. Gopuru
  2. Mala Rrakala
  3. Bayini
  4. Baru
  5. Ya Yawirriny
  6. Djilawurr
  7. Bakitju
  8. Djomula
  9. Wulminda
  10. Banbirrngu
  11. A Baru in New York (Bonus Track)

Bayini (feat. Sarah Blasko, Single)

Released
1 June 2012
Tracks
  1. Bayini (feat. Sarah Blasko) [Single edit]
  2. Bayini (Full version)

Yolanda Be Cool Feat. Gurrumul ‎– A Baru In New York

Sorry, no image for: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Yolanda Be Cool Feat. Gurrumul ‎– A Baru In New York
Released
2013
Tracks
  1. A Baru In New York (Radio Edit)
  2. A Baru In New York (A Class Edit)
  3. A Baru In New York (Taan Newjam Mix)
  4. A Baru In New York (Taan Newjam Edit)
  5. A Baru In New York (Chocolate Puma Mix)
  6. A Baru In New York (Flume Soundtrack Remix)
  7. A Baru In New York (Neon Stereo Remix)

Bayini (Live, Single)

Released
31 May 2013
Tracks
  1. Bayini (Live)
Notes

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Delta Goodrem & musicians of the Sydney Symphony.


Maralitja - Crocodile Man (Single)

Released
9 August 2013
Tracks
  1. Maralitja - Crocodile Man

Gurrumul & Sydney Symphony Orchestra – His Life And Music

Released
6 December 2013
Tracks
  1. Wiyathul
  2. Welcome And Introduction
  3. Bapa
  4. Introduction to Djarimirri
  5. Djarimirri
  6. Introduction to Djilawurr
  7. Djilawurr
  8. Introduction to Marwurrumburr
  9. Marwurrumburr
  10. Introduction to Baru
  11. Baru
  12. Introduction to Wukan
  13. Wukan
  14. Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind)
  15. Gathu Mawula

The Gospel Album

Released
31 July 2015
Tracks
  1. Jesu
  2. Trinity
  3. Nhaku Limurr
  4. The Sweetest Name
  5. All God’s Children (Yo Djamarrkuli)
  6. Baptism
  7. Garray Jesu (My Lord)
  8. Hallelujah
  9. Walu (Time)
  10. Saviour
  11. Amazing Grace
  12. Riyala (There Is A River)
Notes

Gurrumul’s The Gospel Album is a dedication to his mother and aunts, who brought him up with songs and lullabies from the church at Elcho Island. As a small boy Gurrumul was not only influenced by the traditional music of his clan but by the gospel music he heard every Sunday at the local Methodist church. The Gospel Album is a re-imagining of the spiritual songs that came to north-east Arnhem Land via Christian missionaries.


Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)

Released
13 April 2018
Tracks
  1. Waak (Sound of the crow crying)
  2. Galiku (Raising of the flag)
  3. Ngarrpiya (Octopus coming out)
  4. Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow Serpent)
  5. Djolin (Makassan One Stringed instrument)
  6. Marrayarr (Mast to hold a flag)
  7. Gapu (Freshwater)
  8. Djilawurr (Scrubfowl clearing the ground)
  9. Baru (Saltwater Crocodile)
  10. Gopuru (Tuna swimming)
  11. Djapana (Sunset)
  12. Wulminda (Dark clouds)
Notes

This is Gurrumul's final album. It's a collection of traditional songs and harmonised chants in his traditional Yolngu life that have been mixed with orchestral sounds, finalised just weeks before his death.

Recorded with members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.


Find Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu albums & CDs

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, <https://www.creativespirits.info/resources/music/geoffrey-gurrumul-yunupingu>, retrieved 20 August 2019

Knowledge is better when your friends know too.
Whom can you help today?

"In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others." — Deuteronomy Rabbah

Join more than 14,564 Smart Owls who know more!