THE MUSIC OF PLACE: RECLAIMING A PRACTICE
‘How do you maintain live music in a culture that does not value it?’ asks Jon Rose, acclaimed improvising violinist and instrument maker. ‘The practice of music has lost its key functions and roles in society’, he writes. ‘The proof of this lies in the steep decline of monetary worth for both practitioner and the art form itself. Music's social worth is also questionable as it is steadily removed from the education curriculum. This is not a uniquely Australian phenomenon, nor is it confined to music practised on the fringes of society; it is a problem common to all music forms.’ Rose rejects blaming popular music and digital downloads, delves deeper and proposes a way to change the culture.
At The Tea Room, Sydney 29 May
At The Tea Room, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney
Tickets $50 Bookings essential to Currency House Inc. by Thursday 23 May
IT'S CULTURE STUPID!
Reflections of an arts bureaucrat
In 2005 Leigh Tabrett was appointed to lead the Queensland Government’s arts agency and began a major program of funding reform. In a trenchant reassessment of these years she explores her own frustrations and reveals how the lack of clarity among decision makers about the core purposes of government funding has profoundly damaged the system.
‘A fundamental clash of cultures’, she concludes. ‘How can we have a national system of public
support for the arts in the absence of any clear sense of purpose?’ Her paper offers a powerful argument for a better way.
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INDIG-CURIOUS Who can play Aboriginal roles?
Platform Paper Issue#
978 0 9807982 9 6
Australia’s first Indigenous writer, David Unaipon (1872–1967) made a commitment to sharing his stories with non-Aboriginal people. Did he hope that they would be valued as part of our country’s cultural expression? Since his time Aboriginal myths and stories have been widely adopted and adapted, often without reference to their origins or history. Homer and Shakespeare are no longer around to defend their work, but Aboriginal people are alive and outspoken about how they are depicted on the page, stage and on the screen. How, if ever, asks Muruwari playwright Jane Harrison, can Aboriginal themes be ‘used’ by others in a way that is acceptable to Aboriginal people? How can non-Aboriginals learn to interpret themes, and indeed, what are Aboriginal themes? Who can give permission and who refuse? What about our shared experiences and common history, do we not all have the rights to that? Harrison treads her way through the challenging issues of exploitation, referencing, literary fraud, blacked-up actors and community ownership. Sharing our history and stories is essential, she writes, for the health of Aboriginal culture. But first we must acknowledge who is in control.
Jane Harrison is a multi-award-winning writer and essayist. Her first play Stolen (1998) has been widely performed in Australia, the UK and Asia, was co-winner of the Kate Challis RAKA award and was set for school study in Victoria and NSW. Her play Rainbow’s End is currently on the school syllabus 2009–12. Other plays are Blakvelvet and Custody.
Listen to Jane Harrison's interview on the Radio National AWAYE! program HERE