Last month, legendary Gunditjmara and Bundjalung songwriter Archie Roach – whose powerful 1990 debut Charcoal Lane turned 30 last year – announced a new YouTube series, Kitchen Table Yarns. From his kitchen table, he sat down with 12 emerging First Nations artists, inviting them to share stories about their songs, their communities and language.
“When I started off in music nobody had much of a clue about who I was and what I was writing about. I was considered a curiosity. Yarning at my kitchen table with these young artists will help people understand who they are and give them another platform to promote their music,” Roach explained when announcing the series last month.
“The kitchen table has always been a place of inspiration for me. It’s a place where I’ve written most of my songs, drank many cups of tea, ate meals, played music whilst my children ran around making plenty of noise. It represents family, community and love. We thought it would be a great idea to have a YouTube series and conversation at the kitchen table.”
Today, we’re very lucky to be premiering a sneak peek of the first episode ahead of it arriving this Wednesday (4th August) – a conversation with Yorta Yorta musician, composer, filmmaker and climate justice activist Allara Briggs Pattison.
The artist, who performs mononymously as Allara, has a core performance setup of a double bass and loop station, and her work is largely inspired by ancient storytelling traditions. She released two singles last year – ‘Murnong Farm’ and ‘Rekindled Systems’.
Via Zoom, Roach asks Allara about the music she was exposed to in her youth. “I heard your stuff all the time, was always playing. Mum always had your records going,” she reveals in response. “I reckon Mum was playing Christine Anu and No Fixed Address.”
Watch a preview of Archie’s Kitchen Table Yarn with Allara below, and subscribe to Roach’s YouTube channel here to watch full episodes as they arrive. Allara’s episode will premiere on Roach’s channel at 5pm AEST this Wednesday, 4th August. It will be followed by a conversation with Rulla Mansell and Marlon Motlop on Wednesday, 18th August, and another with Lydia Fairhall on Wednesday, 1st September.