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STING ON TARATATA

Just like in 1996, Sting gave a great performance on TARATATA on 16 December 2009. Sting performed Christmas at sea, Every breath you take (with Geoffrey Gurrumul) and Soul Cake. The planned duet on Every Breath You Take went smoothly, but only after a lot of fretting, with Gurrumul trying to get his uncles on Elcho Island in Arnhem Land to provide a translation of the hit song into his native Gumatj language. He got it a half hour before the recording with Sting began. He said, ‘What am I going to do today? That song has too many words.’ A perplexed French TV producer was then told that Gurrumul didn’t know the words to the song. Sting, graciously, said he would be happy with whatever came out. He needn’t have worried. Gurrumul had it covered after all. “As he came in with the second verse in language the whole production team melted”. This was what everyone had been waiting for. He continued on with soothing words, changing what sounds like a sour love-obsessed song to a love poem. After Gurrumul had sung traditionally in the bridge behind Sting, and worked off his outro both trading melodies and hummed phrases, and ending with a harmony together of ‘I’ll be watching you’, all went into a standing, stamping applause. Throughout the rest of the show on air Sting spoke about Gurrumul as ‘spiritual’, his voice sounding as though it was from a higher being, and embraced Gurrumul back in his dressing-room. (Source: The Australian)

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