Rising above a shortlist of eight other Australian albums on the 2018 shortlist, the album was chosen by the panel of 21 judges including artists, journalists, retailers, programmers and more, to be the most important album release of the year, walking away with $30,000 thanks to principal partner PPCA.
Gurrumul’s posthumous fourth LP Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) which took out four ARIA Awards, among countless other accolades in 2018, stands as the final masterpiece from one of Australia’s most important artists. More than four years in the making and completed just weeks before his passing in 2017, Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) is an astounding achievement of music, presenting traditional songs and harmonised chants from his traditional Yolngu life with dynamic and hypnotic orchestral arrangements in a blend of the highest forms of both his culture and our European orchestral culture.
Judging Panel Leader, journalist and Hoodoo Gurus frontman Dave Faulkner was pleased to announce the win. “Every year, The AMP is a testament to the vibrancy and importance of the album as an artform in today’s music landscape,” he said. “As Gurrumul proves, albums are more than just a collection of singles, they are a statement, a message, a story that adds an artist’s voice to our nation’s cultural fabric and this is something that Gurrumul and indeed all of our finalists have achieved.”
2018’s shortlist was a testament to the true artist breadth of Australian music; from Gurrumul’s posthumous orchestral release Djarimirri to Courtney Barnett’s indie pop tome Tell Me How You Really Feel to The Presets’ self-described “Pub Rock Techno” album Hi Viz. Then there was Abbe May’s sexy funk on Fruit, Dead Can Dance’s art-rock masterpiece Dionysus, dream-pop songwriter Laura Jean’s Devotion and the baroque-folk of Grand Salvo and their record Sea Glass. The instrumental jazz stylings of Sam Anning’s Across A Field As Vast as One and rock of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s Hope Downs rounds out perhaps the most eclectic list in the Australian Music Prize’s 14 year history.
Chief Executive PPCA Dan Rosen said, “On behalf of all at PPCA, it is an honour to present a cheque for $30,000 for what was truly a remarkable album and a worthy addition to the growing list of AMP winners that have left their mark on Australian music. We hope this contribution from PPCA will provide further assistance in taking his music to the world.”
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