Elysian Fields, Australia’s only electric viola da gamba band, has carved out a growing reputation for performances that blur the boundaries between jazz, chamber music and world music.
Launched three years ago, Elysian Fields draws largely on the compositional and arranging skills of its multi-talented members. The six-piece band’s charts shift effortlessly from stately, baroque solemnity to multi-layered improvisations driven by pulsating rhythms. And then there is the unique sound of the electric viola da gamba!
On May 24 Elysian Fields will launch their Scandinavian Project which features Scandinavian jazz and folk songs alongside new music inspired by the Nordic World. There will be several world premieres:
Matt Keegan: two pieces reflecting his time studying in Sweden
Siebe Pogson: a collection of songs titled “The Tragedy, The Journey and The Destination.”
Matt McMahon: arrangements of Swedish folk song charts
Jenny Eriksson: arrangements of some of her favourite Swedish and Norwegian jazz charts
The band has many Scandinavian connections: Jenny’s grandfather, Knut Axel Eriksson, was Swedish. She has previously released a critically acclaimed CD of Swedish music with her acoustic ensemble, The Marais Project. Matt Keegan studied in Sweden. Vocalist Susie Bishop sings fluently in Swedish and bass player Siebe Pogson is 1/8th Swedish!
The performers: Elysian Fields comprising Susie Bishop – voice and violin/ Matt Keegan – saxophones/ Jenny Eriksson – electric viola da gamba/ Matt McMahon – piano/ Siebe Pogson – bass guitar/ Dave Goodman – drums