It’s the quality of the music – a compelling mixture of Scandinavian folk, classical and jazz influences – that really compels… It’s a wonder and a pleasure to watch a band able to conjure such a dark, introspective feeling in the room. (Limelight Magazine, November 2020)

Date: November 24, 2022. Doors open 7pm, music from 8pm

Venue: Camelot, Django Lounge (Marrickville)


Not only is Elysian Fields Australia’s only electric viola da gamba band, but they are also one of the few groups whose set list explores the creative intersections between the Nordic countries and Australia, the Great South Land. For only their second appearance at Camelot, the band has put together a program called Northern Skies, Southern Cross, which spans Scandinavian jazz and folk music, along with theirown Nordic inspired originals.

Jenny Eriksson and her electric viola da gamba

Driven by founder Jenny Eriksson’s viola da gamba mastery and Scandinavian heritage – her grandfather was Swedish  – and backed by an outstanding line up of jazz and world music luminaries – Elysian Fields has marked out its own lyrical sound world that leading jazz critic, John Shand, termed ‘Scandi Folk Fusion.’

‘I’ve been visiting Sweden for many years now,’ Eriksson commented, ‘I still have relatives there.’ ‘I have built up musical friendships across Sweden and Norway. I personally know the improvising musicians whose music we play. As a band we have also chosen, arranged and recorded some gorgeous Swedish folk tunes.’

Pianist/composer Matt McMahon

As documented in the band’s two albums, the key to Elysian Fields’ success lies in its unique instrumentation and the wide musical interests of its genre-hopping members. Singer/violinist, Susie Bishop – who speaks Swedish – combines effortlessly with jazz legends Matt McMahon and Matt Keegan on piano and saxophones, Jenny Eriksson on electric viola da gamba and Jacques Emery and Dave Goodman on bass and percussion. Eriksson has also extended the range of her ancient instrument by adding effects pedals to her armoury. ‘I really admire musicians, like my cousin indie guitarist and producer, Shane O’Mara, who really use pedals musically to add to their sound world. So 2-3 years ago I got myself a pedal board – and have learned to use it!’

Critics and audiences alike have reached for superlatives to describe the band’s ability to morph from diaphanous, chamber music-like textures, to searing folk songs and energetic dances. The Sydney Morning Herald wrote of ‘this time-bending, mind-bending project makes music that sounds modern and hundreds of years old simultaneously.’

You Tube video http://