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Lecturer joins Boomerang Tour of Germany

By Patrick Nelson

Francis Diatschenko … audio, video, guitar Francis Diatschenko … audio, video, guitar

Charles Darwin University music lecturer Francis Diatschenko has been invited to accompany the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir on their tour of Germany this month.

Mr Diatschenko’s primary role will be to record the audio for a video documentary of the three-week “Boomerang Tour”, which will feature a series of 75-minute concerts and an assortment of other events.

“They’ve also asked me to accompany the choir as a guitarist,” said Mr Diatschenko, an accomplished musician in his own right.

Germany is familiar ground for Mr Diatschenko, who toured many European cities with multiple ARIA winner Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu before joining CDU last year.

“There’s a strong market in Germany and a high level of interest among music consumers for Indigenous music.”

Mr Diatshenko said the choir comprised 35 women from six Central Australian communities.

“Their performances will feature sacred music and songs in Western Arrernte, Pitjantjatjara, Yorta Yorta, English and German,” he said.

“They’ve come up with an original sound that incorporates a translation of sacred poetry, some of which dates back to 4th Century Greece, with their even more ancient chanting tradition.”

Mr Diatschenko said the tour represented a historic full circle moment as the women take back to Germany hymns that were given to their forebears by the Lutheran missionaries but now offered back to Germany in their own languages.

He said the film taken on tour would be archived in the communities, in Alice Springs and at the National Archives.

“It’s an opportunity to work again in a live production environment with all its spontaneity, pressures, excitement and exhaustion.

“I’ll bring back enhanced skills, fresh knowledge and relevant industry experience that I’ll be able to share with my students.”

Since joining CDU, Mr Diatschenko has delivered a Certificate II in Music course to students in the Territory Outback communities of Hermannsburg, Santa Teresa, Ti Tree and Mutitjulu.