Am so delighted to have supported the creation of this album when it was crowd funded, and proud of the important and truly beautiful work Alesa Lajana is doing with various collaborators. Her research, creativity and empathy for the stories she tells in music are amazing. Help us keep spreading the word about this album and an upcoming tour.
My single “Frontier Lullaby” is OFFICIALLY OUT on iTunes/Amazon/CdBaby etc TODAY! Eight years ago I had a little dream, and this morning it was given life.
Thank you so much to all the amazing musicians who played on this track: Kirk Lorange , Peter Walters, and Luke Moller. It was produced by myself, recorded by Mike ‘Beachy’ Wild at Studios 301 with the assistance of Dan Frizza, and mixed/mastered at Wildlife Audio. That’s me hacking away at the beautiful Bellbird Banjo Co, and singing.
I would be so grateful if you could share this post around as much as possible. We are on a grassroots people power publicity budget for this part of the release!
SONG NOTES FOR FRONTIER LULLABY:
Frontier Lullaby was inspired by the events surrounding the Hornet Bank Station Massacre that took place on Iman country, near Taroom QLD in 1857. Owned by the Scott family, Hornet Bank Station was run and managed by the Fraser family. According to the Gordon Reid in his book “A Nest of Hornets”, the Fraser men had a reputation for heading out into country to steal Iman First Nation women and abusing them. *
It is suggested that the Hornet Bank Station Massacre was a reprisal killing of sorts, but exactly who was responsible for it is unknown. It was a very brutal slaughter that took place in the early hours of the morning. All those residing on the station were killed, except for young Sylvester Fraser. He suffered a head injury but managed to scramble under a bed, where he hid, waiting for the assailants to leave. After all fell quiet, he escaped the property and raised the alarm with a neighbor. *
Some of the older Fraser men were away from the station on business at the time of the massacre. Upon their return, they and others from the area embarked on a reprisal killing spree of First Nation people which lasted many decades. One of the Fraser men even shot a woman in Rockhampton because he thought she was wearing his mother’s dress.* The Iman people suffered the worst in the aftermath. People escaping the reprisals hid in places like Isla Gorge, which can be seen today from a magnificent lookout
on the Taroom-Theodore highway.
Hornet Bank Station is today still a fully functioning agricultural property. I visited the site of the massacre on one of my research trips, and after returning home I wrote Frontier Lullaby. I imagine it sung by the voices of the women and children, on both sides of the conflict, who suffered so greatly in the war for land.
*Further Reading Suggestions: “A Nest of Hornets” by Gordon Reid, The 1858 Legislative Assembly in the Hornet Bank Murders, The 1861 Legislative Assembly into the Conduct of the Native Police, “Taroom Shire: Pioneers, Magic Soil and Sandstone Gorges”, Judy Gale Rechner, “Conflict On The Condamine: Aborigines and the European Invasion”, Maurice French, “Black and White: The Story of a Massacre and it’s aftermath, Blagden Chambers, “Cullin La-Ringo: The Triumph and Tregedy of Tommy Wills”, Les Perrin, “Blood On The Wattle: Massacre and Maltreatment of Australian Aborigines since 1788”, Bruce Elder.