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Eumeralla: a war requiem for peace

  • Queensland Performing Arts Centre Grey St &, Melbourne St, South Brisbane QLD 4101 Australia (map)

The University of Queensland School of Music is proud to present Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace.

Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace is a large scale composition for Indigenous and non-indigenous performers, sung entirely in the ancient dialects of the Gunditjmara people.

Original text by Deborah Cheetham AO expands on the structure of the traditional Requiem Mass, was translated into the Dhuawurd Wurrung and related dialects by Gunditjmara language custodian Vicki Couzens and Victorian based linguist Kris Eira.

"The name Eumeralla is unlikely to be among the theatres of war that you could name. The history of battles fought and the lives that were lost is almost unknown to anyone outside the Aboriginal community. It is more than 170 years since the last shots rang out in the country of the Gunditjmara but the land is not silent. The voices of those who lost their lives in defence of their country ring in your ears when you stand amongst the lava flow of south west country of Victoria. Unlike other theatres of war such as Anzac Cove and the Somme, where peace was declared and relationships restored with the Turks and Germans, no such peace was declared in the resistance wars, no such restoration. Whilst the Gunditjmara uphold the memory of their warriors slain, most Australians have been denied access to this history and denied resolution - and so the land remains haunted. Eumeralla was written in recognition of one of the most brutal resistance wars fought on this continent and is designed for non-Indigenous Choirs to perform along-side Indigenous musicians. It is my hope that this war requiem will help the spirits of those who fell - those who resisted and their aggressors, to find a lasting peace and that we their descendants might find our way to deeper understanding of the legacy of these battles."