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Media release: Solid Rock - Sacred Ground and the Uluru walk closure

Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project featuring Shane Howard, Emma Donovan, Yirrmal and Deline Brisco perform the iconic Goanna hit, Solid Rock during a live performance at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Yirramboi Festival 2019.

 ­Solid Rock - Sacred Ground & the Uluru Walk Closure
To mark the occasion of this week’s Uluru Walk closure, Razor Recordings proudly presents a unique Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project music video, featuring a rare, collaborative performance of Solid Rock, the iconic 1982 Goanna anthem.
Filmed at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, as part of Yirramboi Festival 2019, the live concert footage features a host of musical luminaries, including Shane Howard, Emma Donovan, Yirrmal, Deline Briscoe and Witiyana Marika in a stunning union of cultures.
Says Razor Recordings owner Gavin Campbell, “Solid Rock was ahead of its time when it was released in 1982, politically and culturally and we feel that the unique, collaborative focus of this contemporary performance of the song deserved to be shared widely.
“Razor Recordings is thrilled that at this historic time for Indigenous affairs, all Australians will have the opportunity to witness the event online.
“We are also honoured that NITV have added the clip as part of  the channel’s programming over the coming days.”
The Yirramboi Festival 2019 performance of Solid Rock at Arts Centre, Melbourne was a unique event, for several reasons:
- Solid Rock composer Shane Howard's additional, contemporary fourth verse (exclusive to Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project performances of Solid Rock). The new, fourth verse serves to update the iconic anthem as it references important developments/events in Indigenous affairs, since Howard wrote the song in 1980 i.e. the Uluru Statement From The Heart, Eddie Mabo's land rights victory in the High Court of Australia and the nation's current escalation in the call for truth and treaty.
- Yothu Yindi founding member Witiyana Marika performs traditional Yolngu manikay, specifically, to pay respect to the Anangu – the Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people, the traditional custodians of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. As Yolngu people and balanda (white people), this is a very important protocol to observe, especially when paying homage or referencing a revered sacred site, such as Uluru.
- The presence of Boon Wurrung Elders Aunty Carolyn Briggs and Aunty Fay Muir, onstage, overseeing these proceedings, as traditional custodians of the land upon which the concert happened.
- Emma Donovan’s stunning performance of the second verse, accompanied by acclaimed musician Deline Briscoe on backing vocals.
-Yirrmal on backing vocals and also accompanying his father Witiyana on the traditional manikays.
-Yolngu yidaki master Malngay Yunupingu’s and celebrated drummer Airileke Ingram’s standout performances.
Exclusive fourth verse
“The terra nullius lie spread like a cancer,
Eddie Mabo brought the truth,
He brought the law, he brought the answer.
Go back to the centre, the ‘Statement from The Heart’,
To truth and treaty,
Then we’ll all be standing on solid rock.”
Video Credits
Filmed in-house at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne.
Editing and captions by Lisa-Jane Campbell.
Audio mix by Luke Postill.