The voices of Marliya from Gondwana Choirs – young Indigenous women singing in English and Yindjibarndi – come together with The Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl and special guests Emma Donovan, Peter Garrett and Briggs for a powerful collaboration of voice, sound, movement and change, in musical snapshots of life in the Pilbara, north Western Australia.
Commissioned to write a song cycle for the choir, Felix Riebl spent several years visiting the Pilbara to build relationships and gather stories. He and co-creator Ollie McGill went on to write the album Spinifex Gum about the region’s local tales and characters, true stories of racism and injustice, and the legacies of colonisation with music production that’s staunchly modern, built from found sound samples of the Pilbara – rustling leaves, bouncing basketballs and chugging trains.
Marliya’s lush choral vocals are performed with exuberant energy, blended with hard-hitting urban rhythms and uncompromising lyrics for a fresh sound that is built from the ancient culture of the Pilbara but is totally the music of today.
Nominated for Best New Australian Work at the 2019 Helpmann Awards®, it has the power to disarm, inspire, and speak to us in a way that no individual voice can.
Marliya Choir is part of the national Gondwana Choirs program, led by Lyn Williams (AM).
Spinifex Gum is a deep and affecting musical experience. You’ll leave this gig feeling inspired and hopeful for the future.