Felix Riebl, Marliya & Lyn Williams, Briggs, Christine Anu and Peter Garrett
In 2015 Felix Riebl, lead singer of The Cat Empire, took up residence in the Pilbara to spend time on the land and hear the stories of the Yindjibarndi community. Spinifex Gum is the result,
a series of unique, topical and inspiring new songs that chart the dramatic contrasts of the land of the Pilbara as well as its political and social topography. From this collaboration Spinifex Gum became an album, a live performance and a shared passion to ignite change.
Developed in collaboration with Marliya – a choir of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teenage girls from Gondwana Choirs directed by Lyn Williams – and guest artists including Peter Garrett, Emma Donovan, Ollie McGill and Briggs, the songs are now a unique and inspiring self-titled album and concert. Audiences are invited to witness this unique, topical and inspiring all-Australian show performed in its Australian premiere at Monash University by the full choir, Felix Riebl, Peter Garrett, Briggs, and in a special Melbourne appearance, Christine Anu.
The lyrics themselves respond to both the natural landscape of the Pilbara, and apply uncompromising clarity to the painful injustices facing many Indigenous communities. The tough reality of these issues however is blended with lush choral vocals, unforgettable melodies and the exuberant energy of the young performers of Marliya.
“an artistically stunning, thoughtful and evocative collection of songs that demand to be heard” The Music
“Riebl’s voice should be classified as a national treasure…” The AU Review
Directed by Felix Riebl
Assistant Director Ollie McGill
Conductor Lyn Williams OAM
Choreographer Deborah Brown
Lighting and Video Designer Mark Howett
Sound Designer Gideon Cozens
Songs by Felix Riebl
Beats and Arrangements by Ollie McGill, except Locked Up (F.Riebl / O.McGill / A.Briggs) and Make it Rain (T.A.Waits / K.Brennan)
Cultural Advisor Michael Woodley, CEO Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., Adelaide Festival, Sydney Festival and Monash Academy of Performing Arts.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
This project has been supported by the Ryan Cooper Family Foundation and receives funds from Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australia Cultural Fund.