Ripple Effect Band
Ripple Effect Band are from the remote community of Maningrida in Western Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. Whilst following in the tradition of Saltwater Rock from the Top End, they are forging new ground and a new sound as the first women from their community to play instruments and make their own band. They sing in the languages of their people, Ndjébbana, Burarra, Na-kara, Djinang and Kune and they have a story to tell about their land, their languages and their culture.
They released their EP Wárrwarra in 2018, available on all platforms, and this achieved success with the band touring nationally. It includes Hunting Song, the first song to be recorded in the highly endangered Na-Kara language and the hauntingly beautiful Diyama (Mermaid Song) telling of the mermaids of the Gupanga country that includes the voice of Anbarra-Burarra songman David Maxwell from the Letterstick Band.
More recently, their music was featured on the SBS food show, A Taste of the Top End and they have been nominated for an ARIA Award with their children’s song, Na-barrdja, The Little Crab. In the 2021 Darwin Festival, they performed with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra a commissioned composition, Barra-róddjiba, about the Djómi spirits that saved Maningrida from the 2006 Category 5 Cyclone Monica. This piece shows how the band are working with contemporary forms of music to express their connection with ancestral spirits.
The women of the band see themselves as role models, particularly for young Indigenous women, encouraging women to stand up and express themselves with confidence, saying “you have to love yourself and believe in yourself, who you are and where you come from.” Their involvement in the Strong Lungs Project, managed by Kune guitarist Tara Rostron, has been exciting and fits into the wishes of the band to be a positive influence for community health and well-being. Their contagious energy and love of music certainly is catching. As Djinang Burarra drummer Stephanie James says “ We are women and we are 100% band group, music makes us alive”.
You can find out more here