by Chryss Carr
Busby Marou release Naba Norem for Climate Change Week
Best known for their distinctly Australian storytelling and gifted musicianship, Busby Marou, AKA Tom Busby (hailing from sunny Queensland) and Jeremy Marou (from the beautiful Torres Strait Islands), release a song dear to their hearts titled Naba Norem.
Recorded on Marou’s home-ground of Murray Island in the Torres Strait Naba Norem will feature on their forthcoming album The Great Divide out on September 27th.
“We wanted to come here to the Mer islands and capture some of our precious, ancient culture in song,” says Jeremy Marou.
As part of the unique recording, Marou brought together members from all over the Mer community.
“We spent a day at the local primary school where the kids added to the song playing traditional instruments. Families came from across the island to sing along as we lay down the tracks; and the village people did whatever they felt. We’re really happy with the outcome.”, says Tom Busby.
The highlight of the recording, that brings these ideas together, is a rare Mer drum. It is profoundly sacred to the Meriam people, and older than the ships that arrived as part of the First Fleet during invasion in 1788.
“Naba Norem” means, “let’s go to the reef” in the Torres Strait Meriam Mer language.
"We have always known and spoken about the strong Torres Strait influences I bring to the Busby Marou relationship. This song we sing about it and we literally captured the essence of my beautiful culture.
"Taking Tom and the production team back to the island where my father was raised was more then special, it was a momentous occasion.
"Capturing the cultural harmonies, traditional instruments and sounds of sea is not what we intended when setting out in writing this album, however in a natural organic way these sounds have become the essence of not only this song, but the entire album, says Marou.
“At the end of the day it’s a story about an Islander’s journey to mainland Australia and a son missing his father.” says Busby.
Synchronously Marou’s return to his island home after 12 years away had him return a month later in his newly appointed role in facilitating community discussion regarding Climate Change impacts for the QLD State Government’s recently implemented “Decarbonisation Project”.
“My role is to facilitate community discussions around Climate Change and in particular the rising sea levels that are radically affecting the region. It’s a major concern that requires immediately action. I’m very concerned with this situation. I’ve seen it in real life and reckon that anyone who doubts Climate Change must be delusional. Last June I attended the First Nations summit around climate change which was hosted by Al Gore last and he really pointed my perspective in the right direction,” says Marou.
There are four stages to the pilot program the first of which was delivered this month on Masig Island [aka York Is]. The next stage will be in December and will take in Magnetic Island and Palm Island.
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