For the past two years, Coel Healy has been following the Burundi Band and Peace Choir. Coel first heard their music from a sample CD released by the Denmark Festival of Voice, which was played on a community radio station here in Perth.
The band is made up of a group of families from Burundi. They are ethnic Twa people, who once inhabited the forests of Rwanda, The Congo, Burundi and Tanzania. After fleeing the civil war in Burundi during 1997, the family crossed the border into Tanzania where they lived in a refugee camp for more than 10 years. Inside the camp, they made instruments out of oil boxes and amplifiers out of clay pots, they performed to hundreds of people.
Upon moving to Perth, the family moved to Katanning, a small regional town 3 hours southeast of Perth, Western Australia, close to the port town of Albany. Katanning has become a melting pot of different cultures, due to increasing humanitarian migration and opportunities for work at the WAAMCO abattoir.
Produced by Perth based radio producer, Coel Healy, Clay Pot Melody takes a look at some of the challenges refugees like The Burundi Band are facing in regional communities.