Mervyn Mulardy was born 22/1/1972 in Broome. He grew up most of his life very close to his cultural mentors his father, mother and grandmothers and other cultural bosses. He comes from the Karajarri people about 180km south of Broome. He has mastered his cultural authority endorsed by his elders to speak, talk and practice his culture for and behalf of Karajarri people.
Mervyn lives and abides by Karajarri Law and Culture and is fluent in his native tongue. Being the Karajarri language. He also has a understanding of a number of other tribal languages and also lives in two worlds. Mervyn had his schooling via Catholic Education and so is also rehearsed in English and reads and writes in English.
Mervyn also as a young man was exposed to contemporary music which has remained with him into his later life. As a guitarist and songwriter and with all his cultural experiences and qualifications he delves into contemporary field of music whilst writing in his traditional language. He also rejuvenates old ancient traditional songs in a new medium of modern music. This allows a great cross over, modernisation whilst still keeping culture live and strong including language. This appeals to the young and lifts and inspires the elders.
Mervyn when he performs in his full band situation he calls his conception Yatangal. Yatangal is a cultural spiritual concept that comes in a dream as a child and transforms into the life-cycle of the Karajarri peoples belief.
After many years as a young man cutting his teeth he travelled extensively performing and singing in his family band throughout the Kimberley. After the successful Stompem Ground festival in which Mervyn featured with his family band he decided to embark on his own concept of Yatangal. This was based around song, dance, storytelling and celebration of his culture, language and identity.
Mervyn is inspired by Yothu Yindi, Midnight Oil, Warumpi Band and local acts like Scrap Metal, Footprince, Lucy Cox and Bingurr, Kuckles, John Albert and his brother Frankie Shoveller. What stood out for him in all these acts is being a voice for his people and their ability to be heard by mainstream Australia.
Today we are much the richer for having Yatangal in our landscape of Australia as one of the major passions of Mervyn along with celebrating his song, dance, language and culture is to be able to share this wither everyone and assist Australia in its understanding of the ancient culture if his people and all other Aboriginal groups and to embrace the reconciliation movement by sharing.
After spending some time writing new material Mervyn recorded his first solo album as Yatangal in 2002. Yatangal was finally born, the title of the first album was Yatangal. Ironically through the very same doctrines of the life cycle of the Karajarri people. The album was launched at Stompem Ground Festival in 2002 to great acclaimed and Yatangal has been performing ever since. The album featured new material as well as well some old material.
Songs like –
- Markalla – Clouds rolling in like a wave, brings wind and rain;
- Willi Willi Kati – Kids going fishing and looking for crabs and stingrays;
- People of the Dreaming – For his father’s spiritual country;
- Yanji Yanji – Sings about the traditional spear used for hunting and dancing and number of other great tracks.
Albums can be purchased from www.whaddayow.com in plastic or download, also available from Chunes music, Broome.
Yatangal has a number of types of presentations like –
- A full band concert line-up;
- A full cabaret version of the Yatangal concept;
- Yatangal acoustic and at times trio’s;
- Full traditional and contemporary showcase.
In addition Mervyn is an accomplished cultural speaker and presenter and speaks with articulation about his culture and he can present all aspects pertaining to his language, culture and people.
Yatangal also had recorded a special track for a compilation album for the Kimberley Stolen Generations dedication album. The tracks title is Kunya Kami (takem my grandmother).
Yatangal is now working on its new album featuring new original songs, versions of covers and a remake of Kunya Kami. This album is dynamic and well produced by Marcel Yamouni (Vanessa Amorosi), Mark Bin Bakar (Mary G) and Mervyn Mulardy.
To see Yatangal live is to have a great cultural experience with education and understanding of the depth of Mervyn’s culture his people and his own dreaming. A worthy reconciliation experience to those who wish to be refreshed into a new and great understanding of Aboriginal people. Mervyn Mulardy and his concept ‘Yatangal’ is an International quality and has the capacity to attract international interest.
Contact us to make a booking to see Mervyn Mulardy.
- Stompem Ground x 3; Shinju Matsuri Festival x 3;
- Survival Concert Perth; Kimberley Showcase, Broome;
- KALACC Festival; Boab Festival, Derby x 3;
- Nindji Nindji Festival, Port Hedland;
- Busselton Festival; Perth Festival;
- Gimmee Gimmee Festival, Broome x 2;
- Mary G Cabaret Show, Melbourne;
- Mary G Cabaret Show, Sale, Vic x 3;
- Spirit Festival, Palm Island, QLD;
- Mary G showcase, Luggers, Broome;
- Mini Stompem Festival, Roebuck Hotel, Broome;
- Mary G Album Launch, his Majesties Theatre, Perth
- Mangrove Showcase, Broome;
- Burunga Festival, Burunga Community, NT;
- World Youth Conference, Darwin;
- Presentation at ATSIAS, Canberra;
- Solo Performance, Florence, Indonesia (University);
- French Festival France 2 weeks;
- Solo performance, storytelling and dance Paris;
- The Mary G TV Show (Live Appearance – National TV)
Mervyn has mastered his cultural authority endorsed by his elders to speak, talk and practice his culture for and behalf of Karajarri people.
The Life Cycle of My People, The Karajarri People
From pukarri karta janka our people have dreams,
and in those dreams they have spiritual beings,
and those spiritual beings are a child,
and what is associated with that
particular area where the dreams are.
There will be certain things like plants and animals
that will be the connection of that child.
That is what we call Yatangal.
Two people would sleep and dream,
and in that dream would come a child,
calling them mum or dad. This is called rye.
Then the mother will fall pregnant
and the baby is born.
This is what we call pulyurrt.
He lives his life,
and when he passes away
his spirit will travel back
to the first place where the child was dreamt up.
This is what we call rayan jarri.
This is the life cycle of my people.
Mervyn Mulardy – Yatangal