Jason Daniels’ latest album was recorded in a shed and a classroom on an island in north-east Arnhem Land and he couldn’t be happier.
The very long titled “I Don’t Know What This Is But I Hope You Like It”, comes out on October 4.
Cobbled together from songs both old and new it chronicles his last year moving from the Sunshine Coast to teach in the Northern Territory.
“I literally looked it and said, I don’t what this is but I really hope people like it,” he said.
“It literally became a story, it got such a beautiful flow to it, it accidentally timelines my life for the last year and a half.”
Living and teaching in a small school on Elcho Island, the kids he’s teaching are a part one of the world’s oldest cultures, the Yolngu people.
Late last year Jason was invited to teach a musical workshop for a few weeks, but then one of the staff members left, the elders asked Jason to stay and it was an offer he couldn’t refuse.
The Yolngu people have a rich musical history, with Yothu Yindi, Gurrumul and Salt Water Band coming from the area.
“As far music in Australia its royalty up here,” he said.
He’s since spent his time not only teaching, but hunting for food and learning the land with the people.
They’ve changed his life as much as he’s impacted them with his music.
The album isn’t even out yet but Jason knows he’s finally found his “sound”.
“The way they combine traditional song lines with new instruments is phenomenal,” he said.
“I’ve been working with them to help preserve their language and culture and also bring it to a larger audience.”
One of the tracks on the album “Hurting Too” features his students, opening with a resounding digeridoo and more of kids playing clapstick and percussion.
Anyone on the Coast that want to hear some of the new music live, can when Jason returns for the Caloundra Music Festival, on October 4-7.