Yunkantjarra man Brian Clyne always remembers loving music. Spending his early childhood at Amoonguna, an Aboriginal community located 10km south of Alice Springs, Brian remembers watching the iconic Izac Yamma playing on the stage in his band for hours. At the age of 10, Brian joined Izac’s band, touring with them as a singer to various Aboriginal communities and playing in Alice Springs. Izac’s son, Frank Yamma also developed his love of music watching and then joining his father on stage. It is from these beginnings that the Ulpanyali Band grew.

Ulpanyali means read ochre in Brian’s language. The other members of the band are Frank Yamma, lead guitar and singer, Lindsay Foster, Bass, Clifford France, drums.  Brian wrote a lot of the songs on a self titled album “Upanyali Band”, recorded in the CAAMA studios and released in 1988. He poured his love of storytelling into his songwriting. The Ulpanyali Band song ‘History’ is about The people from Wurrtarka (Kings Canyon) being hunted and killed by white policemen, and his grandfather being forced to shoot his own people. Another Upanyali band song that Brian wrote is called ‘Memories’, which is all about Brian’s childhood memories growing up at Amoonguna and Wurrtarrka, playing, hunting, learning cultural knowledge and playing and writing music. Both songs are on the self-titled album.

Whilst the band has now retired, Brian, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at aged 19, continues as a solo artist, writing songs that advocate for people struggling with and learning to live with mental illness. If you would like to know more about Brian’s journey of healing through his music, check out our News Page

Brian Clien pic at CAAMA

Mental Health with Brian Clien from Ulpanyali Band

Ulpanyali Band