NARDI SIMPSON

Official Website of Yuwaalaraay storymaker

Music

 As a founding member, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter with Indigenous duo Stiff Gins, Nardi has performed and travelled nationally and internationally for the past 22 years. Meeting in 1997 at the Eora Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Visual and Perfroming Arts in Redfern, Sydney, Stiff Gins have gone on to tour the US, UK, Middle East, Africa and the pacific. Stiff Gins have released three albums, 2 singles and an EP and continue to perform at festivals throughout Australia.

Nardi is also a founding member of ‘Freshwater,’ an all-female vocal ensemble formed to revive the language and singing traditions of New South Wales river communities. Together with Kaleena Briggs (from Stiff Gins) and her sisters Jilda and Lucy, Freshwater continue to perform and have now become an intergenerational perfromance group with the children of the Simpson girls also singing and sharing language.

 

Nardi is a graduate of Ngarra Burria First People’s Composers - an initiatve that is a partnership with Mooghalin Prrforming Arts Inc, ANU School of Music, The Australian Music Centre and Ensemble Offspring. Recent commissions include works for ABC Music's Fresh Start Program, Royal Australian Navy Band and Ensemble Offspring.

 

Nardi is currently undertaking a PhD through ANU School of Music in Composition and is the current musical director of Barayagal, a cross cultural choir based at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Stiff Gins

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Nardi will be performing with Stiff Gins at the 2021 Giiyong Festival on 9th October in Jigamy, Far South Coast NSW. Giiyong Festival is an exciting partnership with Twofold Aboriginal Corporation, Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council and South East Arts that celebrates local First Nations music, culture and country. Check out the festival website for updates and further info. 

In the absence of live music, check out Stiff Gins on Spotify and our latest album Wind & Water. Keep your ears out over the upcoming weeks on Stiff Gins Facebook page for an exciting announcment about a new music release as well.

Compositions

Ngarra Burria First Peoples Composers

Nardi's composition, Wilga's Last Dance appears on the ABC's Australian Music Map. Just hover your cursor around the NSW/QLD border and a link to the piece will pop up. Wilga's Last Dance is a homage to the only surviving Yuwaalaraay traditional melody- written during Nardi's time with Ngarra Burria First Nations Composers and played by the Royal Australian Navy Band. You can access the map and listen to the piece on ABC Classic's webpage by clicking the map below.

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Sydney Living Museums

As part of the House Music and Your House Series from Sydney Living Museums, Nardi responded to a little known music score held at Rouse Hill Estate. The song ‘Hearts and Homes’ by Charlotte Young (words) and John Blockley (music) is recorded in newspapers and family music collections at least as far north as the Clarence River area, and further south in the Hunter Valley, Sydney, Rouse Hill, Goulburn and Wagga Wagga. These early songs permeated the soundscape of homesteads and towns and, inevitably, the country of First Nations. Nardi has translated Young’s lyrics into Yuwaalaraay language and accompanies the translation with a cultural performance- bringing into stark contrast the styles, practices and aspirations of the music of black and white Australia. See Nardi's composition Gii, Ghundi below.

ABC Fresh Start

Of Stars and Birds was commissioned by Ensemble Offspring as part of their Birdsong collections of works. This piece explores an important Yuwaalaraay story of how the Southern Cross came to be, how death first came to the plains of Yuwaalaraay and how the lore was given to the people to uphold. Watch Ensemble Offspring's performance here.

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