Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Musical tribute to West Papuan struggle for independence

WHEN Melbourne musician and film composer David Bridie visited a refugee camp for West Papuans in 1990, it changed his life forever.

Now years later, Bridie is still working on keeping the region’s music alive.

The veteran musician, who has been in the industry almost 30 years, spent three years creating the soundtrack for the documentary “Strange Birds in Paradise,” a feature about the plight of the West Papuans in their fight for independence from Indonesia.

The documentary, which will air on SBS in October, was dedicated to Arnold Ap and Kelly Kwalik , who were both assassinated for bringing folk songs to the people of West Papua.

“They did amazing work, and they knew they were risking their lives,” Bridie said.

The feature has been around the world and won Best Documentary at the Colorado Film Festival and at the IF Awards.

Bridie, who has a long history of producing music with artists from the region, has also worked on soundtracks for feature films including Proof, Bran Neu Dae and The Man Who Sued God.

“This stands as an album of cultural and political significance, putting West Papua’s extraordinary music talent firmly on the contemporary music map in the Pacific region and beyond,” Bridie said.

The film’s soundtrack will be launched at the Northcote Social Club, High St, Northcote on Sunday, August 14 from 1pm. Details: strangebirds.com.au

Source; http://melbourne-leader.whereilive.com.au