Spinifex Gum is a musical collaboration between The Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill, and Marliya Choir, an all-female, all-Indigenous group from Cairns conducted by Lyn Williams (AM) and choreographed by Deborah Brown. Part protest, part celebration, Spinifex Gum is a deep and affecting musical experience. It has has the power to disarm, inspire, and speak to us in a way that no individual voice can.
Spinifex Gum with Marliya Choir have released two acclaimed studio albums and performed at International Arts and Music Festivals across Australia to smiles, tears and standing ovations. Featured artists include Briggs, Peter Garrett and Emma Donovan. Marliya Choir sing proudly in English, Yindjibarndi, and Kala Lagaw Ya, and have made longstanding relationships with families and communities through their music.
Our debut album was born in the Pilbara amongst the clash of industry, nature, community and politics that exist there. Sisters emerged mostly from Marliya’s hometown of Cairns in Far North Queensland. The first album sung of contemporary Australia with a clenched fist. Sisters is an embrace, its inspiration is the warmth of the singers themselves. To be in proximity of Marliya Choir, to hear their collective voice is an experience that never leaves you. It gets under your skin. If all Australians were fortunate enough to be with them in that room, by that stage, or on that country, things might be different. There would be less meanness and cynicism in the way we see ourselves, and by extension those around us. Sisters is our invitation to be somewhere nearer that place.
The debut, self-titled album by Spinifex Gum reflects the dramatic contrasts that emerge from the Pilbara, north Western Australia. It features the lush voices of Marliya Choir, a group of young Indigenous females from Cairns singing in English and Yindjibarndi. Joining the choir are Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill of The Cat Empire, who wrote and produced the music, and special guests Briggs, Peter Garrett, and Emma Donovan.
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