Building on an anthology of First Nations musical work, The Ancient Bloods is a musical project coming together in so-called Brisbane to celebrate song lines and create new ones; bringing a contemporary response to political issues and cultural heritage.
The brand new album ‘Where We Stand’, from the land on which we exist through to the place we inhabit in society, explores First Nations relationships with the ancient past, with ongoing colonization, with a modern and evolving society and how each of these impact on both the individual and on the world’s oldest living and thriving culture—all through the lens of emerging community leaders on their own personal journeys.
The Ancient Bloods current members include Nadia Morrison, Michaella Stubbs, Cormac Finn, Will Probert and Loki Liddle, working in the Digi Youth Arts mentoring program with guidance from artists including lead mentor Luke Daniel Peacock. With backgrounds including the Kabi Kabi, Bundjalung, Wiradjuri, Jabirr Jabirr, Garrwa, Butchulla, Darug the group explores a range of stories, truths and musical styles from their unique perspectives ‘Where We Stand’ which will drop on November 6. A launch performance will be held on December 11 at QPAC as part of the Green Jams series.
The project, which began in 2018, is about exploring identity for both the band and its audience, creating both learning and legacy. Agnostic to genre and an exploration of individual journeys coming together in art, the album opens with ANCSTR exploring the rich history of First Nations culture and survival and the strength drawn from it and moves through eight tracks of strength and self-discovery, through to the closer Aunties On My Timeline, a nod to the lighter side as it covers the far more contemporary phenomenon of having elders drop in on your socials.
Loki – “Working with The Ancient Bloods has been one of the most culturally significant experiences of my life. It was the first time for me that I got to collaborate with other young Indigenous artists and create work that was beyond just my own personal narrative. The process helped me to realise that I am not just a musician, but a link in a very long lineage of song, music and storytelling, nursing a very old and sacred flame through this obscure time so it can be passed to future generations. This feeling is very real when playing and creating in The Ancient Bloods. I guess you could call it a kind of remembering. Remembering in the face of a colony that has tried so very hard to make us forget. The album I think is about remembering who we are and where we stand, we’ve tried to put this spirit into the album, and hope it does for other young mob what it has done for us creating it.”
Nadia – “The ‘Where We Stand’ album is a versatile collection of songs written from the heart. The album has strong messages about culture, strength and identity. It was such an honour and inspiration to work with so many incredibly talented artists in this process. The songwriting process was so relaxed because every time we got together there was always such a great vibe. Our mentor Luke Daniel Peacock kept us in check and offered guidance where needed. For me personally this album has helped me a lot with healing and my cultural identity.”
Michaella – “When writing ‘I Stand Tall’ I really wanted to try something new. When I’d tried writing songs before I always struggled with what to say, but these lyrics just kinda came to me. I wanted to write something from a different perspective other than a person. We went over different things we could write about and trees just stood out to me. I love working with everyone because it’s just a good vibe. We always have a good time and they are all so connected to culture. Plus everyone is so freaking talented. I think the album is important because of all the messages in the songs – each song has its own message when you really listen to the lyrics. And this is our way of telling stories to everyone. I hope all of our listeners will gain a better understanding of who we are as a people.”
Listen to ‘Where We Stand’ HERE
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With thanks to SGC Media