Grayson Rotumah’s career has been centred within Australian Indigenous Music for over 30 years. He has been active in the advocacy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music through focussed curatorial efforts that give voice to the diversity of a living, dynamic and evolving Indigenous tradition.
For 25 of these years his role at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music has been one of significant influence on many New emerging Indigenous artists. He is currently working with new emerging artists Electric Fields, Emily Warramurra and Marlon X Rulla.
His first commission for orchestra was performed in a 1998 work titled Music is our Culture and conducted by Richard Mills. This piece represented a significant milestone in Australian art music history. It was the first time in Australian history that Indigenous artists had been commissioned to compose an orchestral work. In 2021, Grayson was commissioned by the ASO for two pieces, Pudnanthi Padnanthi and along with creative collaborator Luke Harrald to compose a new orchestral work for the ASO’s artist-led community-building project Floods of Fire. The new work was titled Bula Yarbru Banam, featuring Kuarna person Robert Taylor on the yidaki in a Western music context and it was premiered in November 2021 at the Festival of Orchestra.