Heritage plus emotion

Krista Pav - Singer-songwriter
Krista Pav - Singer-songwriter

ARMED with her guitar and backed by a seven-piece band, singer-songwriter Krista Pav of Merrylands will get audiences up and dancing to her indigenous blues-and-roots songs this Saturday.

Pav will perform in the show The Power of the Feminine Voice: Indigenous and World Music at the Blacktown Arts Centre, starting at 8pm, as part of its winter Echo Music Series.

She will perform new material as well as songs from her latest EP, Free Spirit .

Pav said the EP was a reflection on her Aboriginal heritage and also on stories from her family.

"It's my connection to family, culture, language and also the elements," she said. "That feeling of being connected is a sense of freedom for me."

Free Spirit contains songs which Pav has sung in her indigenous language, Wangaaypuwan, which is a dialect of Ngiyampaa.

She said she first heard her indigenous language in 2005.

She said that was when her linguist aunt, Lesley Woods, played her a compilation album sung by her elders in the 1930s.

She said she was overwhelmed with emotion when she heard them sing.

"The first time that I heard my great-grandfather's singing language was the first time I heard my people, my language and their singing," she said.

"That was a life-changing experience.

"In a sense it touched me so deeply, and after hearing my great-grandfather sing I knew it was what I wanted to do."

Pav earned a performing arts residency through the Blacktown Arts Centre in 2012.

The centre funded a series of research and traditional language development workshops led by her aunt, who mentored Pav in the translations of their language.

Pav said she sang in her indigenous language on the EP so that she could share her culture with the community.

"It's really important for me to keep our language alive through music and song," she said.