Sydney Sacred Music Festival Forum

Sacred Creativity in the Postdigital Age

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Addressing the central theme of ‘sacred creativity in the postdigital age’, this forum brings together some of the world's leading practitioners and thinkers in the field of spiritually-inspired music and related art forms. Are we transitioning away from technology to return more to nature? Where will the 'new normality' take us creatively as a result of the global pandemic? Join our thought-provoking discussion as the panellists share their unique personal experiences and viewpoints on the sacred in the postdigital world.


Date: Wednesday, 9 September, 2020
Live via ZOOM
RSVP essential. Please RSVP HERE (opens in a new window) to receive webinar link.
You can attend one or both seminar sessions with one registration.
Please remember to join at the right time.

Session 1
Sacred Creativity: the Situation Now

Time: 5 - 6pm AEST

A/Prof Bruce Crossman (Western Sydney University)

A/Prof Bruce Crossman is a composer-scholar with eclectic interests across visual arts, poetry and music with a focus on Pacific-European musical identity. He holds research degrees from Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand, and has achieved international recognition in Australasia, Asia, Europe and the USA. Highlights include projects with the Kanagawa Philharmonic, Korean Symphony Orchestra, New Asia String Quartet at the Pacific Rim Music Festival (USA), Kawamura Taizan (shakuhachi) at the Asian Music Festival 2010 (Tokyo), and the Asian Music Festival 2014 Opening Concert. Bruce has visited the David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (Hong Kong) as Scholar-in-Residence.
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Prof Jocelyn Chey (Western Sydney University)

Prof Jocelyn Chey AM played an instrumental role in developing Australia-China relations for over 20 years as a senior official in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She has served as Cultural Counsellor, Australian Embassy in Beijing (1975-1978); Senior Trade Commissioner, Australian Embassy in Beijing (1985-1988); Consul-General for Australia, Hong Kong (1992-1995); Visiting Professor, University of Sydney; and foundation Director, ACIAC (2016-2017). She researches cultural diplomacy, international relations and humour studies. Awarded the Australia-China Council Medal (2008), Jocelyn is a Member of the Order of Australia (2009) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (2009).

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Dr Mahesh Radhakrishnan (Sydney Conservatorium of Music)

Dr Mahesh Radhakrishnan is an anthropological linguist and ethnomusicologist with a broad research interest in many aspects of language, music, culture and performance. With a PhD in Linguistics from Macquarie University, they are currently an Honorary Associate at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, a collaborator at Centro de Linguística da Universidade de Lisboa (CLUL), and is also a Research Affiliate at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence of the Dynamics of Language. Mahesh’s most recent research has been on the káfriinha music of Sri Lanka‘s Portuguese Burghers. They have also researched Irish sean-nós and South Indian Carnatic singing.

Mahesh Radhakrishnan 

Geoff Wood (ABC Radio National)

Geoff Wood is a Senior Producer at ABC Radio National, specialising in world sacred music. A broadcaster for more than 20 years, he has produced 'The Music Show', 'The Spirit of Things', 'Encounter' and 'The Rhythm Divine', which has received two World Gold Medals at the New York International Radio Festival. He is currently co-presenter of ‘Saturday Night Divine’ at ABC Radio Sydney. Geoff has hosted interviews and concerts at music festivals around Australia including Woodford Folk Festival, Australia’s largest music event. In 2010, Geoff produced an ABC Classics compilation album of world sacred music based on 'The Rhythm Divine'.

Geoff Wood 

Session 2
Sacred Creativity: Changing Cultural Paradigms

Time: 6.15 - 7.15pm AEST

Dr Georgia Curran (Sydney Conservatorium of Music)

Dr Georgia Curran is an ARC DECRA fellow at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. She obtained her PhD in anthropology from Australian National University in 2010. Her interests include Indigenous music and languages, performance ethnography, ethnomusicology and cultural continuity and change. Georgia has undertaken collaborative research with Warlpiri people in Yuendumu and other Central Australian communities since 2005. She is the author of Sustaining Indigenous Songs (Berghahn, 2020) and has collaborated with Warlpiri women to produce two song books, ‘Jardiwanpa yawulyu’ (2014) and ‘Yurntumu-wardingki-juju-ngaliya-kurlangu yawulyu: Warlpiri women’s songs from Yuendumu’ (2017), both published by Batchelor Press.

Georgia Curran 

Raghav Handa (Performing Lines)

Raghav Handa is an Australian choreographer and performer of Indian heritage with training in modern and Indigenous contemporary dance. Inspired by his birthright – his works combine traditional kathak principles and contemporary movement to create multifaceted and engaging explorations of modern Australian cultural identity. He has worked in a variety of dance roles including choreographer, performer, collaborator, dance lecturer, artist representative and mentor for young performers. His works have been performed across Australia and internationally to strong critical acclaim, and his creations are woven through collaboration, incorporating diverse dance languages, spoken word, film and sculptural set design.

 Raghav Handa

Dr Giorgio Scalici (NOVA University Lisbon)

Dr Giorgio Scalici is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 'Music, Healing and Emotion' at NOVA University Lisbon. Born in Palermo, Italy, he obtained his Master’s degree in Ethnomusicology at University of Rome 'La Sapienza' and his PhD in Religious Studies at Durham University. His fields of interest include death studies, indigenous culture, mythology, religion, trance, ethnomusicology and the anthropology of emotion. Giorgio's publications include 'The Ritual Music of Wana People' in the International Journal of Creative and Arts Studies and 'Music and the invisible world: Music as a bridge between different realms' in Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy.

 Giorgio Scalici

Prof Yu Hui (Yunnan University)

Prof YU Hui is a Changjiang Scholar Distinguished Professor of Chinese Ministry of Education, and Director of the Center for Ethnomusicology, Yunnan University. With a PhD in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University (2000), he has lectured and served as Dean at various universities in China, United States and Canada. Prof YU's research ranges from ethnomusicology and digital musicology to guqin (zither) traditions. He has edited for publishers including Routledge Press, Oxford University Press, Zhejiang University Press, and presides over the Council for Asian Musicology and other academic societies. Prof YU is the chief investigator of the first major music research project supported by the Major Program of China Fund for Social Sciences in Arts.

Yu Hui 

Looking into the Future

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Date: Sunday, 20 September, 2020
Time: 3-4:20 pm AEST
Live via ZOOM
RSVP essential. Please RSVP HERE (opens in a new window) to receive webinar link.

Dr Jenny Gall (Australian National University)

Dr Jennifer Gall is a curator at the National Film and Sound Archive. She received her PhD from the ANU School of Music (2007) and continues to research the intersections of traditional music, popular and western art music in Australian settler society. Jennifer was awarded an ACT Heritage Grant for the project 'Listening to the Past: Music in Canberra’s Historic Places' and is a contributor to the forthcoming University of Southampton and the Royal College of Music publication, Making Music Matter in House Museums. A passionate fiddler, she celebrates her musical spirituality through a strong connection with Australian folk music.

Kraig Grady (Embassy of Anaphoria) & Dr Terumi Narushima (University of Wollongong)

Kraig Grady and Dr Terumi Narushima are world-renowned exponents in microtonal music inquiry. A prominent US-Australian composer and sound artist, Kraig is the director of the Embassy of Anaphoria, an ensemble of microtonal instruments of his own design. He has worked as a shadow puppeteer, tuning theorist, filmmaker, world music radio DJ and concert promoter. Terumi is a senior lecturer at University of Wollongong. Her highly esteemed work has been presented at numerous festivals in Australia and overseas, and has been broadcast on national radio and television. Join their exploration of room resonances via ancient sacred scales and multi-dimensional geometries.

Prof Vanessa Tomlinson & Dr Erik Griswold (Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University/Clocked Out Duo)

Clocked Out create and produce innovative music, interarts, and intercultural events that extend experimental traditions in engaging and thought provoking ways. They use music as a vehicle to explore central cultural issues such as environmentalism, multiculturalism, and interactions of science and music. The creative outlet of Prof Vanessa Tomlinson and Dr Erik Griswold, Clocked Out's output includes original music for percussion and piano, a variety of artistic collaborations, concert series, tours, and festivals. Clocked Out has received two APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards: the "Award for Excellence in Experimental Music" and "Outstanding Contribution by an organization," as well as two Green Room Awards.

Ashley Chu (Conservatorium High School)

Ashley Chu is a 17-year-old classically-trained pianist and composer currently studying at Conservatorium High School. At age 14, he was awarded a High Distinction for the Licentiate Diploma (LMusA) in piano performance through the guidance of Natalia Andreeva. Ashely has trained under esteemed conductor and educator Richard Gill AO, and internationally renowned pianist Prof Liu Meng Cheng, Curtis Institute of Music (Philadelphia). He is deeply interested in electronic music, and has produced both electronic and classical compositions for the past 5 years. Ashley plans to study jazz piano and composition at the University of Sydney and also abroad to further pursue his musical passions.