A new SBS/NITV documentary released this week explores the creative and cultural journey of Adelaide-based duo Electric Fields.
Produced as part of NITV’s ‘Our Stories’ initiative, Voice From The Desert is one in a series of documentaries by emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creators. In making the short co-directors Daniel Clarke and Amy Pysden followed Zaachariaha Lowah Fielding and bandmate Michael Ross as they performed, and took out New Talent of the Year, at the 2017 National Indigenous Music Awards in Darwin.
The NIMAs was a watershed moment for the duo, showcasing their unique sound – Ross’ sharp electronic pop production paired with Fielding’s multi-octave voice singing in both English and Pitjantjatjara – on a national stage. Importantly, the Awards’ also saw the pair perform for Fielding’s parents for the first time.
The documentary follows Fielding back home to the APY Lands community of Mimili, exploring his relationship to country and experience growing up queer in remote South Australia. Clarke also captured some quite revealing interviews with Fielding’s parents Kaye Lowah and Robert Fielding, as well as a deep dive into his own artistic and personal journey.
Screened nationally on December 10, the documentary is now streaming on SBS On Demand. Other shorts in the ‘Our Stories’ series include director Sasha Sarago’s feminist doco Too Pretty To Be Aboriginal, airing January 7 2018, and YouTube comedian Gabriel Willie’s mockumentary The Real Bushtucker Bunjie on 18 December.
Electric Fields are also the subject of renewed attention as one of a handful of acts competing to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. A public vote will decide whether Electric Fields, Kate Miller-Heidke, Sheppard, Mark Vincent, or three as yet undisclosed acts perform in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Amy Pysden / Ninti Media