The Second International Symposium on the Malay Musical Arts of Indonesia’s Riau Islands (SIRI)

The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, in its 50th Anniversary Year, presents:


SYMPOSIUM THEME: The Changing Identity and Sustainability of the Music-Cultures and Worldviews of the Riau Islands’ Sedentary Malays and Sea Nomads/ Perubahan Identitas dan Kelanjutan Budaya Musik dan Pandangan Hidup Orang Melayu Tetap dan Orang Suku Laut di Kepri

SUB-THEME: Sound, Body Movement and Hierarchy in the Arts of the Riau Archipelago

Dates: Wednesday 14th to Friday 16th January, 2015

Place: The Music Auditorium, Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Clayton Campus,
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Download the Symposium draft program (PDF)…

symposiumIn the past decade, a growing literature has emerged on the phenomena of sound and body movement in relation to the human emotions and senses. We tend to take such sounds and body movements for granted, enjoying some, feeling anxious about others, and trying to ignore those that annoy us. However the literature has not come to grips with the emotional and sensual effects of sound and body movement among musicians, dancers, martial artists, theatre performers and their audiences. Nor has it fully explored the musical arts as stylistic expressions of the hierarchy, power, powerless-ness and anomie that may be found in a society’s class structure and the changing class relationships in its history. For sound, movement, emotion and the senses in art and life do not simply exist in themselves but within an embodied social, historical and symbolic framework that can become intensely clear, indeed larger than life, in concrete performances, and may therefore be interpreted as an expression of elements of the socio-political world in which the sounds and movements exist.

This Symposium will explore the relationships between music, dance, theatre, political hierarchies, the emotions, the senses and traditionally acceptable behaviour. These relationships were mentioned in the Malay literature between the 15th and the 20th centuries and are still strongly apparent among the descendants of the nobility, sea nomads and commoners to this day in the Riau Archipelago. The Symposium will also explore recent artistic and socio-political change.

The keynote address will be delivered by Professor Leonard Andaya of the University of Hawaii.

Other speakers will include Professor Barbara Andaya (University of Hawaii), Professor Margaret Kartomi (Monash University), Associate Professors Cynthia Chou (University of Copenhagen), Manolete Mora (University of New South Wales), Associate Professor Nicholas Long (University of London), Dr Geoffrey Benjamin (Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS), Nanyang Technological University), Dr Vivienne Wee (Singapore), Dr Karen Kartomi Thomas (Monash University), Harry Aveling (Monash University), Bronia Kornhauser MA (Monash University), Jennifer McCallum (University of London), Syafaruddin (Department of Culture, Tanjungpinang), and Nathan Porath (Walailak University, Nakhon Sri Thamarat).

Music and dance performances and poetry readings will be presented by visiting artists from the Riau Archipelago and an Exhibition of Indonesian-Malay Arts will be mounted in Monash University’s Performing Arts Building.