Introduced by First Nations Ulladulla / Yuin elder Uncle Noel Butler, inviting the four winds to
rise in his indigenous Dhurga language at the song’s beginning, the new single ‘The Weatherman’ is a powerful and compelling anthem exploring the battle between nature and humanity from singer/songwriter Hein Cooper.
This is a magnificent track: building up slowly from the spoken word introduction to something with the power of a gale force wind and sprung from the climactic rainfall that has beset Australia. Cooper uses this force of nature as a means to explore the relationship between the land and the environment and the voracious appetites of humanity and corporations.
Having been through the most end-of-times apocalyptic weather events, the song explores the effects on the community:
Weather man said it’s gonna rain down,
But Sun is shining over my skin,
There’s people running round like the end is near,
Well I’ve never seen nothing like this before
The weatherman is the font of all knowledge: the predictor of the future, but is distant and disconnected. Cooper asks:
Who is the weatherman? This is the deep question behind the song…Is it the one who’s paid big bucks
by large companies to read off a script? Or is it he who feels into nature, into the forest, the wind and the
water, the animals and plants? I believe nature has all of the answers to our current issues, and this song
is a mantra to tap into those secrets, especially through the indigenous knowledge carried by elders still willing to share.
Butler says the song’s introduction:
…is asking for help, for the creator to send a wind spirit, to bring the different
winds from the different directions. The North-East; can you bring the wind? From the North; bring the
wind. From the West: only bring a little bit as it can be nasty – the fighting man’s wind. This song is about
understanding what’s been given to you, understanding what’s called nature – it’s all there, the answers are all around us, even the weather.
This is a deep and profound exploration of the land, the connection of the First Nations people to it and the interaction between so called development and ultimate mismanagement by modern society. Australia has become the land of fire and rain – nature wreaking havoc across the country as a result of humanities’ ignorance.
The track is burnished with a powerful choir. With encouragement from Trish Butler (Noel’s wife), Hein Cooper was successful in receiving a South Coast Grant to assist the community in processing the recent rain and pandemic events. Over 4 days, various members of the Ulladulla & South Coast community joined Hein Cooper to write songs, as catharsis. The project culminated in the group offering their voices to sing on the track.
The track is accompanied by a vivid video exploring the themes – a blank-faced corporate weatherman on a TV buried in the middle of nature. Cooper says:
I brought the initial idea of a TV in the forest to Uncle Noel and he loved it, because it really emphasized
how out of place it would seem especially to him. He wanted to make sure we included the fact that these
horrific fires had still just recently torn through most of the East Coast of Australia due to poor
management and lack of controlled burning and not to forget that, as his property was completely
decimated. He has these keys to a sustainable future that he’s desperately working to share. I feel the same now, not that I have the keys, but that I’m willing to listen and feel into what they are through people like him. This whole song is a mantra to that.
This is powerful stuff:
‘The Weatherman’ is out now and available to stream and download here. It will be launched on Friday, 23 December at Barn On The Ridge Morton, NSW with special guests: Ben Morgan & Jack Willis. This will be a special event:
The show on the 23rd December will be set at barn on the ridge, backdropped by the incredible
Badawang mountain range, with the sacred Pigeon House mountain standing tall. Uncle Noel and I will
perform this song together and I cannot wait to share this moment with the local community!
Feature Photograph: Dane Singleton