I've had a query about collaborations. If you look on the song list you will see there's been quite a few. There is no set method with collaboration. Two or more people may work on a song simultaneously or separately. Or someone may give you a significant idea or unfinished song and you may complete it. You may write the music, some one else the words or vice versa. It doesn't really matter how, a collaboration is a recognition that the song would not have been written without a combined input.

"Cooling Winds" with Kev Carmody was really a result of jamming with Kev. I think he was trying to write something else, but I came up with a chord sequence and a melody and he gave me this beautiful line about the cooling winds of Autumn. I took it away and finished it. He didn't mind that I'd taken it in a different direction. When you're a songwriter it's always a win to get a song to work.

"Far Away" with Andrew Travers was written in 1988 around a camp fire near Jervois Station in the Territory. I had the chorus and Andrew came up with some neat lyrics for the verses. He also wrote another song on that trip called "Tyre Trouble" which he used to do with the Happening Thang.

Many of the Warumpi Band collaborations were a result of jamming. Often I would use a riff that Sammy Butcher was playing to be the basis for a song. A good example of this is "Gotta Be Strong"- built around a pumping bass groove of Sammy's. "Waru" was written quickly in Wave Hill, NT, around a guitar riff and chorus I had, with George Rrurrambu working out the verse lyrics in Gumatj Language. Gordon Butcher's drumming on the recorded version was inspired by the Police's music which we were listening to a lot at the time. "We Shall Cry" was myself, Sammy and George all in a hotel room in Glebe, reflecting on what we'd seen in our travels around the country, then strumming guitars and writing words and singing together.

Collaborations can be very fruitful, two heads are better than one sometimes. It often suits musical partnerships or band situations, where everyone knows their skills and are confident in the contribution they can make.

Recently I've done a few co-writes with Peter Brandy, a country artist from the Kimberly. Peter regularly turns up at my place with a guitar, a bunch of ideas and half started songs. Whatever grabs me, we work on and finish. It makes for a result.

best wishes,

Neil Murray.