Tag Archives: Freya


We interviewed some people about the music we are playing in assembly.  It is the album ‘Rrakula’ by Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.

Do you like the CD we are playing in assembly?

Matthew, Morgan, Destinie and Harleigh: Yes

What is your favourite track from the CD?

Matthew: Bakityu (the one playing this week)

Destinie: I am not sure.

Chloe:  Bakityu

Harleigh: Yaywirring

Have you ever heard of the Saltwater Band?

Matthew: Not before we played the song in assembly last term.

What do you like about the CD?

Matthew:  It is from another country.

Chloe: It is different.

Harleigh: It is from Australia and so is he.

Is there anything you dislike about the CD?

Matthew: I can’t understand the words.

Destinie:  There isn’t a great variety of music.

Chloe:  I can’t understand what he is singing.

Would you be interested in hearing further music by Gurrumul?

Matthew: Yes, that would be cool.

Morgan: Yes

Destinie: Yes

Chloe: Yes

Harleigh: Yes

Mollie and Freya

Cate Blanchett

Catherine Elise “Cate” Blanchett was born on the 14th of May 1969. She was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Aged 42, her height is 5`8”. She is an Australian actress who played a role in Lord of the Rings as Galadriel in 2003. She also played a role in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as Irina Spalko in 2008. Cate won the British Academy of film and Television Arts.

Her father is called Robert Dewitt Blanchett, Jr and her mother is called June Gamble. She is married to Andrew Upton and has three children. Blanchett’s husband is a playwright and screenwriter. She met Andrew Upton in 1996 while she was performing in a production of The Seagull. They were married on 29th of December 1997 and have three sons, Dashiell John born 3rd of December 2001, Roman Robert born 23rd of April 2004, and Ignatius Martin born 13th of April 2008.


Cate Blanchett in Lord of the Rings

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

You may have noticed (or not!) that we have been playing a CD during the start and finish in assembly recently, as part of our Australian themes year!  The CD is by the artist Gurrumul and is called ‘Rrakala’.

We are here to tell you all about the life of this famous Australian musician!

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was born in 1970 and is an indigenous Australian musician (which means that he comes from a family of original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands.  He was born in in Galiwin’ku, off the coast of Arnhem Land in Northern Australia about 350 miles from Darwin.

He was born blind but has never learned braille; he does not have a guide dog or white cane!  Gurrumul  sings in the Yolngu language which is the language spoken by the indigenous people of North East Arnhem Land, Northern Australia.  He only speaks a few words of English.  He is also said to be very shy.

At the age of 15 he was identified as a young and extremely talented multi-instrumentalist and joined the ARIA Award winning band ‘Yothu Yindi’ where he played until 1992.  He currently sings with the ‘Saltwater Band’.

Gurrumul plays the drum, keyboards, guitar (which is a rigth handed strung guitar which he palys left handed!) and didgeridoo, but it is his singing voice that has attracted a lot of reviews.  He sings stories about his land in two languages, Yolgnu and English.

We think the CD is very good because it is from a different country and Gurrumul is a great solo artist!  The music also has a good beat and rhythm to it.

Mollie and Freya

Gurrumul- Rrakala

“Sometimes I feel I am dancing in the music”:An Interview with the Didgeridoo Man (Chris Holland)

Matthew What feelings do you experience whilst playing the didgeridoo?

Both emotional and physical feelings.  I feel like my breath and rhythm is all one thing.  Sometimes I feel I am dancing in the music.

Morgan When was the first didgeridoo made?

(Chris told us a story about the Dreamtime and an Aborigine.)  In the Dreamtime, an Aborigine blew into a piece of wood which was full of termites.  He wanted to blow out the termites so he could have them for his dinner.  He blew into the wood and the termites flew out spreading out over the land.  They then lifted up and became the Milky Way.

Aborigines have a completely different time to us.  Their time is Dreamtime, our time uses numbers.

Ella Do you think it’s good for us to learn about Australia and would you do it personally?

I think it’s great for your whole school to learn about Australia and across the whole year.  It is a fascinating country and it is a great idea.

Robyn – What inspired you to play the didgeridoo?

I was working in a shop in Bath which sold didgeridoos.  I loved the sound of them and I wanted to learn more.  There was a CD playing with didgeridoo music and I liked the sound of it.

Sophie Who got you interested in the didgeridoo?

A guy called Mark Robson from a band called ‘Kangaroo Moon’.

Iman – How did you learn to play the didgeridoo?

I taught myself by practising and practising and listening to didgeridoo music.

Emily – How long have you been playing the didgeridoo? 

I started when I was 23 and I’ve been playing for 17 years.

Courtney Does anyone else in your family play?

A few have tried but just for fun!

Jago – How many didgeridoos do you have? I’ve got 100 practice ones that I take into schools and 9 other didgeridoos that I play on which are made of metal and wood.  I’ve also got a tromberidoo- a combination of a didgeridoo and a trombone.

Mollie – Do you have a favourite didgeridoo?

It changes from day to day.  I don’t have a particular favourite, it is whatever feels right on the day.

Mr Whitewick – Do you ever get to play with others?

I mostly play on my own but I use to be in a band called ‘Jabberwocky’.  I don’t get to play with others very often.  I was the only didgeridoo player in the group.

Mr Whitewick – Do you ever get to play with other didgeridoo players?

Sometimes.  When you all play in tune together the sound you create can be amazing.  The music penetrates.  It gets into your bones.

Matthew – Do you enjoy teaching people?

I love it.  When they are inspired it is great fun.  Sometimes they surprise themselves by using circular breathing without trying to!

Mollie – What can didgeridoos be made out of?

Metal, wood, glass, plastic, fibreglass and pottery.

Mr Whitewick Is it easier for kids to learn to play then adults?

No, it’s not easier for kids than adults but kids tend to learn quicker.  If you really want to learn, you will.

Freya – Can you play any other instruments?

I can play percussion instruments because of the didgeridoo.

Iman – Can you play the didgeridoo for a certain length of time?

Not really.  You keep going until your lips don’t want to work.  The longest time I’ve played for is about 12-13 minutes.  Some players can go for up to 45 minutes.

Mollie – Which didgeridoos don’t  you have?

I don’t have a glass, fibreglass or metal one.

Mr Whitewick – Is there a certain didgeridoo you would love to have?

I’d love to have a slide didgeridoo but they’re expensive.

Emily – Was it hard to learn how to play?

I found it hard and I got frustrated at times because it felt that I hadn’t learned anything new.  When you are frustrated it is better to put it down and leave it alone and come back to it later.  I found that when I came back to it, I realised I had learned new things and was getting better.

Iman – Can you play any other instruments because you know how to play the didgeridoo? 

Circular breathing helps with instruments like a saxophone, clarinet and trumpet.

(Chris told us about when he went to Australia about 14 years ago he met a man who could play the didgeridoo.  He’s also a writer and he writes books for teenagers.  His name is Scot Gardner so maybe you could check out some of his books.- Matthew)

Do you do private lessons as well as going into schools?

Yes, I also do some performances.  I have got 2 claims to fame.  The first one was when I played with Rolf Harris and his  band.  My second one was when Eric Clapton signed my didgeridoo.

Ella – Where did you visit when you went to Australia?

Mostly the East Coast between Brisbane and Melbourne.  My favourite place to visit is Bald Rock which is the second biggest single rock in Australia after Ayers Rock.

Sophie – How long do you practise for?

I practise 10 minutes a day but I haven’t been practising at all lately!  I must get back to it!

Mr Whitewick – When your feeling sad or unhappy does playing the didgeridoo help?

Sometimes, it helps me feel better when I do.

Interview by the whole blogging group and recorded by Matthew.