Adelaide Fringe

Interview: Electric Fields (Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross)

Tara Forbes-Godfrey chats to Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross, better known as Electric Fields

Electric Fields is easily the hottest duo in the Australian music scene right now. Vocalist Zaachariaha Fielding and keyboard player and producer Michael Ross are the 2021 Adelaide Fringe Ambassadors. I had the distinct honour of sitting down with them both to discuss the exciting news that their Sold Out Fringe show Inma is back with an extra show to close out the 2021 Adelaide Fringe on Sunday night at 9pm.

Inma in Anangu, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara languages means stories that are sung and danced. Zaachariaha is under the understanding that it also means “to be sung by multiple voices”: with this in mind a collaboration was born between Electric Fields, Iwiri choir and SA First Nations Dance Collective. The first show was incredible with Glam Adelaide and Theatre Travels both giving it 5 star reviews, with reviewers speaking to the enormity of what they had just witnessed. As the Glam Adelaide reviewer, I also noted how much I wished there was more than one show, so that more people would have the opportunity to experience what we had.

With the wish to be able to experience this show again being granted, it was wonderful to talk to Zaachariaha and Michael about their thoughts on the performance. Zaachariaha talks about how it seemed like the perfect time to plant the first seed in the soil in regards to Inma songs and that after the first performance word spread to the APY lands where confidence and self-worth were boosted. With the conversation reflecting on how it was the right time to debut the Inma songs that were “burning a hole in the pocket” I think as an audience we are all very thankful that this opportunity presented itself.

As a self-confessed fan girl of Electric Fields, I can completely attest to every song connecting with my soul, whether it be their pop tracks or traditional language songs so it was no surprise in the interview when Michael spoke of how important creating art is to them both. With the re-release of Kev Carmody’s album Cannot Buy My Soul in 2020 the duo feature on the 3 disc album with their cover of From Little Things Big Things Grow. They also performed at the AFL Grand Final and debuted their new song at this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras and whilst grateful to be in a position to be advocates for music in traditional language, Michael maintains that they are artists who want to make sure they inject passion into every song and collaboration that they create.

With this passion in mind, their next project is huge in scale and awe-inspiring to say the least. Michael says “It would be worth flying to the Antarctic for this but you only have to fly to the desert”. Parrtjima, a festival in light is set to bring 2 kilometres of the MacDonnell Ranges (Yeperenye) alive through light and sound on a journey into the Spirit of Arrernte Kultcha. With Electric Fields providing the 7 minute soundtrack with a reimagined unreleased original track Lore Woman, whilst the light show literally lights up the Ranges. The magnitude of this display is pretty hard to wrap your head around and Michael and I talked about just how far technology has come to make this kind of display possible. Electric Fields will also play a show as part of the festival on the 9th of April at the Desert Park.

So before they jet off to the Alice, be sure to come join the celebration that is Inma this Sunday 21st March at 9pm at The Moa, Gluttony and end this Fringe season with an experience you will truly never forget.

Tickets are available through Fringe Tix https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/inma-af2021

Interview by Tara Forbes-Godfrey

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