From East Timor
Respected as one of East Timor's leading musicians, Ego Lemos is involved in a renewal of indigenous music and language in the world's newest nation. He is also trying to encourage the reintroduction of traditional agricultural techniques (he has co-written books on Timorese permaculture) that, he argues, will assist this poor nation's efforts to become genuinely independent. It's a huge task for the gifted musician, singer, songwriter and composer, whose simple and heartfelt music has taken him around the world for many years, with successful visits to the UK (supported by Oxfam), Japan, India, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia. In a significant cross-cultural indigenous musical collaboration, Ego recently joined rising Aboriginal music star Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu to stage a duet performance at the 2008 Darwin Festival. Australian audiences first saw Ego perform solo in mid-2007, then with his Timorese band Cinco do Oriente in mid-2008 at the Dreaming Festival, Australia's premier indigenous festival, in Queensland. Since 1990, Ego has also been in demand as a guest speaker, addressing conferences in more than 10 countries to speak on issues such as sustainable agriculture, peace, globalisation and East Timorese independence.