Message from the Co-Curators, Associate Professor Sally Macarthur and Dr Clare Maclean
The Music program at Western Sydney University acknowledges that this Virtual Music Showcase is being presented on th country of the Darug People of the Darug Nation and acknowledge their ancestors who have been Traditional Owners of their country for thousands of years. The Music program also wishes to acknowledge and pay our respect to the Darug People's Elders past and present.
It is with enormous pleasure that we welcome you to our virtual music showcase presented by our talented students, alumni and staff of Western Sydney University for our Make Music Day, 21 June 2020. This day is celebrated across the globe, marking the importance of music in our lives. The French economist, Jacques Attali begins his book, Noise (1985), with an astute observation that: ‘Western knowledge has looked upon the world. It has failed to understand that the world is not for beholding. It is for hearing. It is not legible, but audible (p. 3).’ For Attali, nothing essential happens in the absence of noise and, for him, noise and music are inextricably linked. Attali argues that music is a way of both perceiving and expressing the world. Music is prophetic, acting as a herald for change, and harking back to the past, reviving what has gone before, often in new ways.
In this celebration, we offer examples of music that in their different ways might be heard as mirrors of our current time, reflectors of the past, and/or signposts of the future. Like the virus currently infecting our world, music knows no borders. Music is infectious. It is constantly transformed by its contact with people, communities, cultures, and different regions of the world. Music moves across genres, breaking boundaries between one genre and another, dissolves lines between one culture and another and one kind of music and another. Music knows no limits in its capacity to transform while being transformed by those who listen.
In this showcase we offer six rooms for listeners to sample an array of music. Out of necessity we have created boundaries that delineate each room, but on the proviso that a listener, as she or he may wish, should feel free to listen to the music on its own terms without the idea of the category. The Improvisation Room, featuring second year and third year students, who were expertly tutored and mentored by our convenor of the composition sub-major, Associate Professor Bruce Crossman, is a case in point. Sampling this music, all of it generated through the process of improvising, file sharing, editing, and producing, represents an assortment of music that, while pointing to a high level of creative imagination, crosses many boundaries. The other five rooms are similarly arranged to both support and confound their designated categories.
On a finale note, we acknowledge our supporters and collaborators: Professor Peter Hutchings, Dean of the School of Humanities and Communication Arts; Associate Professor Bruce Crossman and Dr Waldo Garrido for their inspirational work with our students; Dr Rachel Morley, Associate Dean of Engagement; Lina Gong, Engagement Officer; Addy Fong for her work on the video content and Shednakie Yi for his remarkable design of the website; Mitchell Hart, Noel Burgess and David Levy, whose technical support and advice has been invaluable; the wonderful encouragement and support of the team at Create NSW, headed up by Augusta Supple, Senior Manager, Engagement, Partnerships, and Development, and including Sarah Carradine, David Everist and Lucy Joseph. Finally, without our students, staff and alumni participants, none of this would have been possible. Our thanks to each one.