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Voices in Harmony

Celebrate Harmony Week with voices from across the globe

Crank up a multicultural smorgasbord of song to celebrate Harmony Week with the Office of Multicultural Interests’ Voices in Harmony playlist.

This unique project features Western Australian artists representing some of the culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities in this State.

This first playlist will take you on a musical journey around diverse WA with sounds from our Indigenous heritage before moving through to influences from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, South-East Asia, North Asia, South America and the Pacific Islands.

Created as the soundtrack to Harmony Week, Voices in Harmony can be used as a resource for activities and events during Harmony Week, as well as throughout the year to highlight Western Australia’s vibrant multicultural society.

Click on the artist’s name to view additional information about that artist.

If you are interested in contributing a song to the Voices in Harmony project, contact harmony@omi.wa.gov.au and share the sounds of your culture.

Playlist

Artist: Juliana Areias

Dubbed the ‘Bossa Nova Baby’, this Perth-based singer and songwriter originates from Brazil. Juliana brings a new edge to traditional Brazilian rhythms, creating a contemporary musical fusion. In addition to being a finalist in several awards in the World Music / Latin Jazz category, Juliana won Best Album of the Year in 2015 and 2016 at the West Australian Music Awards. Flecha was also a finalist in the Best Song of the Year category in 2015.

The 2011 Census indicated that there were 1751 Brazil-born people in Western Australia, an increase of 156 per cent since the previous Census in 2006. The majority (70 per cent) arrived in WA between 2001 and 2010.

Artist: Tara Tiba

Born in Tehran, Iran, at a time when female singers were prohibited from performing in public, Tara Tiba began her musical journey as a child studying Western classical piano. At 16 she developed an interest in Persian music, embarking on seven years of vocal training in the classical Persian ‘Radif’ system, under one of the country’s most prominent singers, Hengameh Akhavan. Moving to Perth in 2012, Tara undertook a jazz course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

More than half (56 per cent) of WA’s Iran-born community arrived here between 2001 and 2010.

Artist: Rusichi

Rusichi is Western Australia’s premier Russian folk group, with a repertoire that spans centuries of traditional Russian, Ukrainian and gypsy song and dance, including popular favorites such as Katyusha and Kalinka.

There are more than 1230 people from the Russian Federation in Western Australia with around 2090 speaking Russian at home.

Artist: Marco Quiroz

Marco Quiroz, multi-instrumentalist from Chile, is a member of a number of Latin American music leading groups in Perth such as Los Chasquis, LC Salsa, The Latin Gypsy Experiment, Rumba y Cafe, Seven Oceans and many others.

The WA Chile-born community is the second largest Latin American community in Western Australia (after Brazil).

Artist: Buddhist Light International Association

BLIA WA operates together with International Buddhist Association of WA (IBAWA); members and devotees working voluntarily in all activities. They are encouraged to actively study and practice the Dharma (the Buddha’s teaching) and engage in charitable and community services.

Buddhism was first brought to Australia in the mid-1800s by migrants from China, Sri Lanka and Japan who began arriving as gold miners, pearl divers and sugarcane plantation workers.

Artist: Grace Barbé

With roots in the tiny Indian Ocean nation of Seychelles, home to a unique culture that fuses Africa, Europe and Asia, Grace Barbé (pronounced Bar-bay) is a singer, songwriter and musician whose music, like her mixed heritage, reflects and celebrates the diverse influences of her Creole culture.

With a population of approximately 90,000, the Republic of Seychelles is the least populated nation in Africa. The official languages of Seychelles are Seychellois Creole, English and French

Artist: The Hungarian Song Birds

The Hungarian Songbirds is a small amateur Hungarian choir operating in Perth. With dedicated, passionate members, the Song Birds believe it is important to nurture their heritage by singing Hungarian folklore songs. Established in 2014 as part of the Hungarian Educational and Cultural Centre, they meet fortnightly in the Jolimont Primary School and perform on different cultural events such as national days and Christmas celebrations.

Most Hungarian migrants to Australia came after World War II and after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Hungarian Australians mostly live in State capital cities.

Artist: Daniel Ray

This song is by Daniel Ray from the FNTS Movement. FNTS was founded by Burundian Rachdar Abubakar Giraneza aka G-Marl Jamal, the FNTS(From Nothing To Something) Movement aims to support and empower young Western Australians from all backgrounds and ethnicities to express themselves through drama, dance, music, digital media and helping other members of the community.

Most Western Australian Burundian people have arrived in WA since 2001.

Artist: Tongan Choir

This choir, part of the Beth-Shalom Uniting Congregation in South Lake, comprises people from Tonga and New Zealand, some of who migrated to Perth as far back as 1978. The choir is encouraged to sing and speak in the Tongan language and the members range in age from 10 to 78 years.

Tonga is a constitutional monarchy, making it unique in the Pacific. Its monarchy is more than 1000 years old and its constitution dates back to 1875.

Artist: Phil Walley-Stack

Phil Walley-Stack is one of the top didgeridoo players in Australia. Phil takes traditional sounds like the didgeridoo, boomerangs and tapping sticks and blends them with contemporary instruments like the cello, guitar and drums. Performances include elements of both traditional and contemporary music and dance in a cultural fusion. Walley-Stack comes from the Wardandi area, which is located in the south-west region of Western Australia, in and around Bunbury Busselton Margaret River region.

Around 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait languages are spoken in WA.

Artist: OIC Group

A musical collaboration of Perth session musicians with the gamelan orchestra of the Indonesian Consulate in Perth, the OIC Group combines the music of traditional Indonesia with contemporary styles such as jazz, rock, and pop. Featuring the combinations of ethnic instruments such as the gamelan, sitar, didgeridoo, with the moderns such as the bass guitars, drums, and the piano, the music of the OIC Group celebrates the musical richness of both the eastern and western cultures, and the multiculturalism that prevail in Australia.

Indonesian contact with Australia pre-dates European settlement. Makassar seamen from south-east Indonesia fished the waters of north-west Australia, coming into contact with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Artist: Shameem Taheri-Lee

Born in Australia to a Chinese-Malaysian father and an Iranian mother, this bubbly vocalist and songwriter enchants her audiences with her heartfelt, personal stories, socially conscious messages and spiritual influences in her songs.

Chinese migration to Western Australia began in the 1840s–1890s when small numbers of Chinese people arrived under contract as a cheap labour force for pastoralists, merchants and pearlers.

Artist: Trinh Quach

Trinh Quach is Chinese, born in Vietnam, and was a teacher, teaching Chinese and Vietnamese. She came to Australia as a refugee in 1978 and worked as a Primary school assistant until retirement. She has worked many years with the Chung Wah Association teaching Chinese as well as coordinating many cultural events. Trinh is well known in the Asian community for her contributions in promoting Chinese culture as well as for her beautiful singing voice.

There were more than 16,692 China-born people in WA in 2011, more than double the number in 2006 (8004). WA’s Chinese community members come from a range of countries including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Artist: South African Gospel Choir

Formed in 2005, the South African Gospel Choir are a multinational group singing African and English Gospel songs. The group has two drummers, which is in keeping with the African drum beat that forms the basis for their soulful music! The Conductor is Croatian born Hana Vuko and South African born Virginia Henriques is the Choir Coordinator. The aim of the Choir is to support AIDS relief in South Africa.

There are more than 35,300 South Africa-born people living in Western Australia (WA), 24.2 per cent of the total South Africa-born in Australia.

Artist: Basic Desire

Basic Desire are an Australian duo who combine electronic sounds with melodic vocals, creating lush ambient landscapes. Born in Poland, Paulina received classical training, but decided to pursue a pop career when she moved to Australia. Basic Desire want to strengthen the links between people of diverse cultural backgrounds through their music and the messages it carries.

The name ‘Poland’ originates from the name of the tribe ‘Polanie’, meaning ‘people living in open fields’. The first Polish migrants to Australia were a small number of political exiles who fled after the Polish rebellion against the Tsarist regime in 1830.

Artist: Yasmin Powell

Of Syrian and English heritage, Yasmin is a solo and choral singer who has been performing since a young age. In 2015, she completed a bachelor of Music in Classical Performance at the WA Academy of Performing Arts. She has been a member of The Australian Voices since 2012, touring New Caledonia and the USA, as well as performing on ABC’s Q&A in 2014 and with Queensland’s Symphony Orchestra in 2015

Syrian immigration to Australia began more than a century ago when a few individuals and small groups arrived in Australia in the 1870s. On 9 September 2015, the Prime Minister announced Australian support for the relocation of up to 12,000 Syrian refugees to Australia. Western Australia will take approximately 1000 Syrian refugees.

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