Stephen Pigram: Walganyagarra Buru (Live)

Walganyagarra Buru (LIVE)


Commissioned by Klein Family Foundation, as part of Quartet & Country, a project by the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and its 2016-2019 Artistic Director, composer Iain Grandage, UKARIA and the Australian String Quartet.

Performed by Stephen Pigram and Australian String Quartet
Stephen Pigram – Voice, Guitar & Ukulele
Sung in Yawuru, Broome Kriol and English
Dale Barltrop – Violin 1
Francesca Hiew – Violin 2
Stephen King – Viola
Sharon Grigoryan – Cello

Composed by Stephen Pigram
Arranged by Iain Grandage
Lyrics by Stephen and Bart Pigram

Recorded live at Melbourne Recital Centre as part of Quartet & Country, 17 August 2019, by ABC

Produced by Jennifer Mills
Recording Engineer Chris Lawson
Mastered by Alexander Stinson

Licensed courtesy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
© Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Artwork – Jim Tsinganos Illustration
Art Direction – Cul-de-Sac Creative

Special thanks to Stephen Pigram for his valued support of this release.


This is a story told through information that’s been gathered through the oral narrative and the written record. It’s a story about my great grandmother – we’re talking in the 1880s.

Broome was already a town in 1883, but the first settlement in that area happened with the sheep farmers, see – the sheep men. Streeter had a station 50kms out of town called Streeter station, and that’s where this Lake, called Lake Edarr, is. Lake Edarr that’s her country, her birth country.

This is our great grandmother on Mum’s side – the mother-mother-mother line for me. We got it from the old people, we know where her country is. We’re trying to work out the movement of her from 50ks out of town and into Broome by 1900, ‘cos that’s when my Mimi, my Grandmother’s born. I mention my Mimi’s name in the ‘Minybal’ song – Petronella – that was her name. The line goes ‘Petronella and Theresa bloom on the mother mother tree’. Theresa was her sister – and that’s Micky Manolis Mob grandmother. [Micky Manolis is a Broome musician who played in Kuckles with Stephen Pigram, together helping write Bran Nue Dae with Jimmy Chi].

Stephen Pigram


Born and raised in the multi-racial pearling town of Broome in Australia’s far northwest Kimberley region, singer, songwriter and guitarist Stephen Pigram has been performing and songwriting since the mid-1970s.

He has been a member of the Broome bands Kuckles (1981 to present), Scrap Metal (1983 – 92), and since 1994 he has performed and recorded with six of his siblings in the Pigram Brothers, pioneering a vocal / acoustic ‘saltwater country’ style of music.

He was musical director for the original production of the 1990 stage musical Bran Nue Dae by Jimmy Chi and Kuckles and he played a major role in the development and production of the 2011 AACTA-nominated Australian film Mad Bastards as composer, actor and co-producer.

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