Snapshots of life in WA’s Pilbara, performed by the lush voices of Marliya from Gondwana Choirs, young Indigenous women singing in English and Yindjibarndi. Joining the choir are Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill of The Cat Empire, who wrote and produced the music. Commissioned to write a song cycle for the choir, Riebl spent several years visiting the area before he and McGill wrote the album Spinifex Gum. It’s a striking collection of local tales and characters, true stories of racism and injustice and the legacies of colonisation, with music built from ‘found sound’ samples of the region.
WORKSHOP: In this workshop you will experience how the creative team prepare Marliya, the all-female, all-indigenous choir, for the rigours of performing. You’ll meet Lyn Williams AM, Artistic Director of Australia’s peak youth choral organisation, Gondwana Choirs, who created and has led this choir for over 10 years before this project began. She will be joined by Deborah Brown, Bangarra Dance principal artist, independent choreographer, artist and collaborator, who has nurtured the choir and brought further stagecraft to their performances. These two amazing women, and of course the young members of choir, will show you how they warm up, rehearse and move.
Spinifex Gum has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the Major Festival Initiative in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festival Inc., Adelaide Festival, Sydney Festival and Monash Academy of Performing Arts; the Ryan Cooper Family Foundation, the Lightfolk Foundation, Annamila Foundation, many generous individuals, and by Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund.