Richard Green, Karen Smith, Matt Doyle and Clarence Slockee perform with Kevin Hunt three chants including Barabul-la, Chant and Harry’s Song

Newly imagined performances of these transcriptions for Our Music, Performing Place, Listening to Sydney are adapted compositions and improvisation from music transcribed by European explorers and musicians.

Three historic melodies Barabul-la, Chant, and Harry’s Song-Chant are featured throughout Guyanaya Bayui. 

Bennelong and Yemmerawanne originally performed Barabul-la ‘in praise of their lovers’[1] in London in 1793 after being bought to London by Governor Phillip. Music for this song was transcribed by Edward Jones (1752-1824) A Song of the Natives of New South Wales, in Musical Curiosities; or a selection of the most characteristic National Songs & Airs, Consisting of Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Danish, Lapland, Malabar, New South Wales, French, Italian, Swiss… the Harp, or the Piano-Forte.. in London in 1811. Keith Vincent Smith in the British Library found a transcription of Bennelong and Yemmerawanne’s performance in September 2009.

Chant is performed by Karen Smith. This chant was originally collected and set to music by Pierre-François Bernier and artist Charles-Alexandre Lesueur, from the ship Naturaliste with the French Baudin expedition in 1802. The musical score was published in the second edition of Atlas in Francois Peron's Voyage de découvertes aux terres Australies... (Paris 1824).

Harry’s Song (Coorangie) Chant was originally performed by Harry, who was married to Bennelong’s sister Carangarang. Music from Harry’s performance was transcribed by the colonial high court judge, and explorer Justice Barron Field in the ‘Journal of an Excursion across the Blue Mountains of New South Wales’, in The London Magazine, vii, November 1823, p465. It is understood Harry’s Song (Coorangie) Chant is performed in Wiradjuri language, ‘jumbery ja’ at the river,….’jinga velhah’…under a tree. Richard Green, however, offers another explanation: this chant is sung by a visitor, who is asking the King of Richmond, Jobbery, if he can sit under the tree by the river.[2]

[1] Keith Vincent Smith, '1973: A Song of the Natives of New South Wales', Electronic British Library Journal, 2011, article 14, pp 1-7, p1,

[2] Keith Vincent Smith, '1973: A Song of the Natives of New South Wales', Electronic British Library Journal, 2011, article 14, pp 1-7, p6,