Marliya is a group of young Indigenous singers based in Cairns, whose music goes straight to the heart. Born out of a collaboration between Gondwana Choirs and Felix Riebl, these young women sing with a warmth and richness that belies their age.

In 2015, Gondwana Choirs commissioned a new work from Felix Riebl for Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir, premiering Spinifex Gum – a song cycle at National Choral School 2016. Felix visited the Pilbara three times, meeting and developing relationships members of Indigenous communities in Karratha and Roebourne. On one trip, 35 Indigenous choristers joined him, performing as part of the Red Earth Arts Festival.

The original 30-minute song cycle explores aspects of indigenous life in the Pilbara, incorporating Yinjabarndi language. Over the next two years, Felix and his partner Ollie McGill would add more works, expanding Spinifex Gum into a full album, which was released in October 2017.

In addition to Marliya and Riebl, the album features guest vocalists Adam Briggs, Peter Garrett and Emma Donovan. Its unique musical landscape of comprises treated field recordings, programmed rhythms, organic instrumentation and above all, the overarching power of human voices, bearing stories crying out to be heard.

“Peppered with treated field recordings, it invites comparison with M.I.A.’s Kala: see the penetrating title track, with its rapid-fire chorale, fractured industrial samples and sand-rattling beat. 4/5 stars.”
Rolling Stone Magazine

How incredibly proud we are of our Marliya choristers from Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and their performance of Spinifex Gum at the Adelaide Festival:

“Fresh, hopeful, strong and proud, these young women have taken their place in the spotlight; their voices not only fill the theatre in which they perform, but also embed into the hearts of the audience.”
In Daily

Audience were amazed at their stagecraft, vocal power and connection to contemporary issues as they began rehearsals for Spinifex Gum, a 75 minute tour-de-force stage work of contemporary life in the Pilbara by Felix Riebl.

Co-starring Peter Garret, Emma Donovan and Indigenous rapper Briggs, the première of this extended work took place at Monash University in February, closely followed by a sold-out performance at the Adelaide Festival.

“The sweetness of the singing, the power of the words and the movement make this a magical experience. The audience rose to its feet cheering at the end.”
The Adelaide Advertiser

Brimming with confidence and an appetite for performing, Marliya featured in one of the highlights of the AFL calendar, Dreamtime at the G, on 2 June at the Melbourne Cricket Ground performing two songs from Spinifex Gum.

Stay tuned for news of further performances by Marliya.

Marliya is a collaboration between Gondwana Choirs and Felix Riebl. To enquire about booking the choir for future performances, please contact Tegan Redinbaugh, Producer, Spinifex Gum & Marliya Choir on 0407 245 445 or