…profoundly moving…the entire collection is sublime…
– Stephen Fitzpatrick, The Australian
Mission Songs Project is an initiative to revive contemporary Australian First Nations songs from 1900 to 1999, focusing on the Christian missions, state-run settlements and native camps where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were relocated.
Searching for the secular songs that were sung after church, Mission Songs Project looks to explore the day to day life of the mission days, from cultural identity to love and loss. These unique songs consist of almost forgotten stories that can now shed light into the history of our Indigenous elders, families and communities.
Mission Songs Project faithfully explores the musical journey of Indigenous Australian music and connects the traditional with contemporary, revealing the continuation of cultural practice and song traditions into the 21st Century. The performance is presented as a vocal trio or quartet featuring a rotating line up of Australia’s finest Aboriginal and Torres Strait vocalists including Emma Donovan, Deline Briscoe, Shelly Morris, and Jessica Hitchcock. Storytelling is a major component of the performance, adding historical context and personal stories and making the show warm, humorous and heartfelt.