LIVE IN CONCERT
SPECIAL GUEST ARTISTS ANNOUNCED
PETER GARRETT, BRIGGS,
EMMA DONOVAN & CHRISTINE ANU
TO JOIN FELIX RIEBL, OLLIE MCGILL
(of The Cat Empire) & MARLIYA
The Spinifex Gum journey has evolved to include transcendent live performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre as part of the Adelaide Festival and at Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Clayton campus, Melbourne in March 2018.
Blending the lush choral vocals and exuberant energy of Marilya – together with performances by Felix Riebl, Ollie McGill and guest artists: Peter Garrett, Briggs, Emma Donovan and Christine Anu – audiences are invited to witness these unique, topical and inspiring all Australian shows in Adelaide and Melbourne in March.
Spinifex Gum is a distinctly Australian experience. It is equal part provocative and uplifting, and intended to inspire national dialogue through music. At the heart of the production is the ensemble Marliya – made up of current and former singers of the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir, led by their Artistic Director, Lyn Williams (OAM).
Assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, Australia Council and Ryan Cooper Family Foundation these stirring, joyous and thrilling concerts will be performed over 2 nights.
See Spinifex Gum Live in 2018
Sunday, March 11th, Melbourne: Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Clayton campus, tickets available HERE
Tuesday, March 13th, Adelaide Festival, Adelaide, tickets available HERE.
The Spinifex Gum journey started for Felix Riebl in 2014, while he was in the studio recording with The Cat Empire. Lyn Williams (OAM) contacted Felix and asked whether he would like to go to the Pilbara and write music for The Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir (members would go on to form Marliya).
Felix, and long-time friend and collaborator The Cat Empire’s Ollie McGill (engineer, arranger, and co-producer) along with Marliya were inspired to tell contemporary stories of this remote part of Australia, and developed a distinct production technique for the album. Felix cites “we tried to invert what a choir traditionally does, and most of all make music that would be exciting for those amazing teenagers to sing.”
The songs of Spinifex Gum are powerful in content and style. Expect to witness moving performances from Briggs who raps about the disproportionate detention of Indigenous youths in Locked Up, Peter Garrett’s live rendition of Malungungu about a suicidal FIFO worker, and Emma Donovan’s Gospel Yindibarndi rendition of Tom Waits’ Make it Rain.
Peter Garrett says today “I’m excited to be a part of this groundbreaking collaboration. The songs are terrific; heartfelt and full of meaning. The Spinifex Gum project evokes and portrays experiences and issues confronting people living in a distant part of Australia in a poignant and hard hitting way. We need music and words like this.”
Briggs says of ‘Locked Up’ “I got involved with the song ‘Locked Up’ because artistically; it sounded phenomenal. The youth justice is something I’m passionate about and the girls voices have brought light to such an intense subject matter. The choirs have brought such an original, honest, powerful and moving presence to the Spinifex Gum project and it was a pleasure to be part of”.
Emma Donovan says “It was such an honour to be a part of the stories from The Pilbara and of course to sing in Yinjerbundi which was even more of an honour to sing in another aboriginal language – it means a lot to me. I’m lucky in this industry to have that opportunity through music, I look forward to singing and learning also alongside young indigenous women of Queensland, the Marliya Choir.”
Australia’s most iconic female Indigenous entertainer, Christine Anu says “I’m thrilled to be a part of the Spinifex Gum journey. To be performing alongside the Marliya choir is a deeply personal and special experience for me. The girls sing with such joy and hope, they shine so brightly on and off stage.”
Artistic Director Lyn Williams says about Marliya, ‘I don’t think I have ever seen a group of young people work with so much determination in quite this way before. 75 minutes of music is one thing, but then to master Deborah Brown’s fantastic choreography as well is a huge goal to which the singers are completely committed. I am immensely proud to be taking such a talented group of singers from Cairns perform an internationally-recognised festival’.
Spinifex Gum is a project that reaches across the country. Its lyrics are a combination of English and Yindjibarndi, its stories emerged from the Pilbara, and its choir of Aboriginal and Torres Strait teenagers hails from North Queensland. Above all else, the inspiration for this album is the young singers who champion it – their individuality, their laughter and friendship, and the power of their collective voice.
Spinifex Gum creator Felix Riebl says “It’s an album none of us could have predicted, but one that opened itself up to us. We just followed the music”.
Locked Up’ featuring Briggs and Marliya
View Video HERE
‘Malungungu’ featuring Peter Garrett and Marliya
View Video HERE
Album ‘Spinifex Gum’ OUT NOW
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