In the spirit of reconciliation, a moving new arrangement of The Last Post will be launched and available on Saturday, November 11, Remembrance Day, to pay homage to the shared experience of First Nations soldiers and Australian soldiers in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp on the battlefield since World War I.
Performed by acclaimed didgeridoo player Mark Atkins and jazz virtuoso James Morrison, The Last Post (Winds of Change) is the first time the song has been performed with a didgeridoo alongside a bugle.
The audio of the new arrangement is now freely available for commemorative use by Communities and Organisations nationwide and is available for download at thelastpost.au
The Last Post (Winds of Change) music clip will be launched at 11am on Saturday November 11, Remembrance Day, via Sydney Opera House social networks. The clip was created in collaboration with the Sydney Opera House in 2022 and features both artists performing the arrangement atop the Opera House sails with the magnificent Sydney Harbour as the backdrop.
“The new arrangement is a healing acknowledgement, and a practical way of sharing the history of all our diggers serving together, inspiring a spirit of unity and respect within our communities moving forward,” said Chelsy Atkins, project manager/producer and daughter of Mark Atkins.
“My Grandfather on my father’s side served for 4 years as a machine gunner in the first World War which had a 20% chance of survival. I also have Uncles and Aunties that served on my mother’s side. The difference was when my Aunties and Uncles returned, they were not allowed to go into the bars, clubs, march or gather with the Australian soldiers or be together to honour and remember the fallen that they fought alongside. This new arrangement was created to help ensure memories of the First Nations soldiers and ANZACs who fought -side-by-side live on”, said Mark Atkins, The Last Post (Winds of Change) creator and didgeridoo player.
“The wonderful thing about this project is that it’s not trying to replace anything, it’s bringing things together; a great tradition that’s already there with another much older tradition, and blending them, and it’s such a powerful message because of that,” said James Morrison AM, bugle player.
- Production of the piece began in early 2020, and alongside Mark Atkins, the rendition was arranged and produced by Chelsy Atkins (Garrijimanha) and Ricky Bloomfield (Bear Mountain Productions).
- Chelsy Atkins organised extensive consultation with relevant community groups, and received endorsement letters from numerous individuals and organisations including; RSL & Services Clubs Association, RSL NSW, Australian War Memorial, Archie Roach AM, Shane Howard AM, John Schumann, Ernie Dingo, Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP and Hon. Kevin Rudd AC.
- In the new arrangement Mark is pioneering the didgeridoo in a unique and new way by playing a melody instead of a drone. By treating the Didgeridoo as a melodic instrument Mark re-imagines the capabilities of the Didgeridoo.
- Ricky Bloomfield invented a new technology to record the Didgeridoo for this production, by developing a microphone capsule (The Vibe Mic), designed to capture overtones through wooden floorboards as an extension of the instrument.
"Mark is an early pioneer of the didge and I know he's broken new ground on the instrument before. When I heard him play these notes for the first time and treat the didge like a melodic instrument, I knew we were doing something special. In honouring the camaraderie and mateship between our First Nations and Australian Diggers we hope to inspire that same respect between all Australians, especially after the recent period of division,” said Ricky Bloomfield, The Last Post (Winds of Change) audio engineer/producer and son-in-law of Mark Atkins.
“Our Association believes that this project will have a very positive impact on Australians’ understanding of the participation and service of Indigenous people in the Australian Defence Force and ancillary services and will acknowledge that service and commitment to Australia. This arrangement can sit alongside the traditional Last Post arrangement and is another important element in the commemorative toolbox,” said Margot Smith CEO, RSL & Services Clubs Association
"The stirring sound of the Bugle, awakening the spirits of the soldiers that have died in battle, along with the sound of the Didgeridoo transporting them back home to this ancient story and ancient land, reminding us of the First Nation peoples that fought alongside the other Diggers" said Archie Roach AM
To listen or watch the new arrangement go to www.thelastpost.au
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