Australia’s First Nations people and Australian Diggers stand together this Remembrance Day with the release of a moving new arrangement of The Last Post titled The Last Post (Winds of Change).
In the spirit of reconciliation, a moving new arrangement of The Last Post, performed by First Nations didgeridoo player Mark Atkins and jazz virtuoso James Morrison, will be launched and available on Saturday, November 11, Remembrance Day.
The Last Post (Winds of Change) pays homage to the shared experience of First Nations soldiers and Australian soldiers in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp on the battlefield since World War I and is the first time the song has been performed with a didgeridoo alongside a bugle.
The audio of the new arrangement is now freely available for commemorative use by Communities and Organisations nationwide and is available for download at thelastpost.au.
A film/music clip ofThe Last Post (Winds of Change)will be launched at 11am on Saturday November 11, Remembrance Day, via Sydney Opera House social networks. The clip was created in collaboration with the Sydney Opera House in 2022, it features both artists performing the arrangement atop the Opera House sails with the magnificent Sydney Harbour as the backdrop.
In the new arrangement Mark is pioneering the didgeridoo in a unique and new way by playing a melody instead of a drone. By treating the Didgeridoo as a melodic instrument Mark re-imagines the capabilities of the Didgeridoo. Ricky Bloomfield invented a new technology to record the Didgeridoo for this production, by developing a microphone capsule (The Vibe Mic), designed to capture overtones through wooden floorboards as an extension of the instrument.
“The new arrangement is a healing acknowledgement, and a practical way of sharing the history of all our diggers serving together, inspiring a spirit of unity and respect within our communities moving forward,” said Chelsy Atkins, project manager/producer and daughter of Mark Atkins.
“My Grandfather on my father’s side served for 4 years as a machine gunner in the first World War which had a 20% chance of survival,” said Mark Atkins, The Last Post (Winds of Change) creator and didgeridoo player. “I also have Uncles and Aunties that served on my mother’s side. The difference was when my Aunties and Uncles returned, they were not allowed to go into the bars, clubs, march or gather with the Australian soldiers or be together to honour and remember the fallen that they fought alongside. This new arrangement was created to help ensure memories of the First Nations soldiers and ANZACs who fought – side-by-side live on.”
“The wonderful thing about this project is that it’s not trying to replace anything, it’s bringing things together; a great tradition that’s already there with another much older tradition, and blending them, and it’s such a powerful message because of that,” said James Morrison AM, bugle player.
Production of the piece began in early 2020, and alongside Mark Atkins, the rendition was arranged and produced by Chelsy Atkins (Garrijimanha) and Ricky Bloomfield (Bear Mountain Productions). Chelsy Atkins organised extensive consultation with relevant community groups, and received endorsement letters from numerous individuals and organisations including the RSL & Services Clubs Association, RSL NSW, the Australian War Memorial, Archie Roach AM, Shane Howard AM, John Schumann, Ernie Dingo, Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP and Hon. Kevin Rudd AC.
To listen or watch the new arrangement go to www.thelastpost.au