Published on 01 October 2019
Kutcha Edwards did not choose to be a musician. The gentle man mountain says the choice to pursue his Songline wasn’t even his. “I think the music seeks you out,” he says. The Kutcha Edwards Hour will be performed in the Theatre on Sunday 20 October, 3.00 pm.
Born of the Mutti Mutti people, on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River in NSW, Kutcha sees music as a responsibility he has been given by his ancestors – not only to entertain, but to educate. Or as he calls it, to “drop pebbles”. “A lot of people think it’s about the performance, but for me it’s not just about that, it’s about dropping one extra pebble,” he says. “My job is not to try to befriend an audience or a classroom or people that come in contact with me; my job is to drop a pebble in an imaginary pond and make that ripple. That’s my life’s work explained.” Kutcha uses music to create connections across cultures, generations, and spaces. With an innate ability to communicate, he uses his talents to nurture understanding and self-knowledge amongst all those with whom he has contact.
Kutcha regards himself as a song man, not simply a songwriter. He draws on a profound sense of all those who have gone before him on this land, along with his own life experiences, to help his audiences understand their own experiences, reconnect with their culture and promote cultural understanding. He draws strength from his family, country and his inheritance of a culture that stretches back over thousands of years. Kutcha’s music provides a way to not just tell a story, he lets others express themselves and through music he provides people a way to find their voice. Kutcha's Songline is something very sacred and to share time with him is unique, uplifting and potentially life changing.
Kutcha became a member of the Stolen Generation at just 18 months of age, when he and five of his 11 siblings were taken from his parents. That’s why a Kutcha Edwards gig isn’t for the faint – or cold – of heart. That's why healing, culture and unity are recurring themes in Kutcha’s Songline, delivered in a style that traverses blues, gospel, rock and country.
Yet always at its core is that voice – deep, soulful and timeless, rising and falling with the breaths and dreaming of generations. Music has been the path to healing for Kutcha for more than 25 years; from his beginnings with the bands Watbalimba and Blackfire, as a member of the Black Arm Band, and as a solo artist working with artists including Paul Kelly, Archie Roach, David Bridie, Renee Geyer and his dear friend, the late Paul Hester.
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