The conference will include an evening concert titled “Piyasan Aceh” (Rejoicing in the Arts of Aceh) featuring brilliant performers of the traditional and contemporary music, poetry, lullabies and dances of the Acehnese, Gayo and [the] Aceh-Malay cultural traditions, as inherited from the ancestors. The arts of Aceh “breathe the spirit of Islam, but also reflect Aceh’s Hindu past and the influences of other cultures passing through,” as ethnomusicologist Margaret Kartomi has written. In particular, Aceh’s seudati, ratoh duek, meuseukat and other dances and Gayo’s saman dance are acclaimed for the beautiful synchronicity of their body percussion and singing of Islamic and secular texts that reflect the people’s traditional customs and ethics, accompanied in some cases by consorts of rapa’i frame drums and other instrumental music playing amazingly complex rhythms.
The Exhibition of Material Arts of Aceh, titled Keuneubah Indatu (“Aceh’s Cultural Heritage”), comprises musical instruments, textiles, wedding ornaments, costumes, miniature houses is presented by the Music Archive of Monash University (MAMU) in the Foyer of the Music Auditorium, Performing Arts Building, Clayton Campus.
The Exhibition of Mahdi Abdullah Paintings and Acehnese Film Showings in the MADA Gallery at Caulfield Campus. This exhibition of paintings by the famous Acehnese-born painter, Mahdi Abdullah, who is visiting from Indonesia, is presented in conjunction with the conference. Please see the promotional materials for the exhibition on this website.