Western Sydney University Presents

in association with Make Music Australia & Create NSW


ROOM 2: Intercultural Explorations

The research-driven teaching and culture at Western Sydney University encourages staff and students to become free-thinking musicians, moving across, within and beyond boundaries that include diverse cultural backgrounds. In this room, we highlight music that intersects with South-East Asian music, including the traditions of China and Korea, and music from the Caribbean. Over his entire career as a composer, Bruce Crossman has embraced the music of the Asia-Pacific region, bringing together Western and East-Asian sensibilities in which he aims to create a resonance of place and to generate a spiritual presence. The work presented in this room, responds to the sound-worlds and instrumental timbres of these non-Western cultures, delving below the surface details to express his unique creative voice. Other works in this room include: improvisational cross-cultural explorations between the highly acclaimed Korean musician, Hyelim Kim (taegum), and lecturers in the Music program, John Encarnacao (guitar) and Brendan Smyly (electronics), and post-graduate student, Joseph Tabua (guitar); an arrangement by Jin Ju Yang for (gayagum); two songs that have texts sung in Mandarin and English by composer, Robert Moss; and two movements from a larger work exuding a Caribbean sensibility, Mass Carib by composer Felix Cross.

Shy Like Blushing Flowers

Bruce Crossman

Shy Like Blushing Flowers takes its point of departure from the sensuality of Tang Xianzu’s poetry as well as the structured sense of revelatory space from the Chinese Gardens in Sydney. The music explores the poetry’s static sense of understated erotic tensions that suddenly strike the senses through nature allusions through inside-the-note vocalizations and operatic vibrato through the mezzo-soprano line, and accentuates the colours through drawing on both traditional Chinese and extended European instrumental techniques


Hyelim Kim: Taegum / John Encarnacao: guitar / Brendan Smyly


Hyelim Kim: Taegum / Joseph Tabua: electric guitar / Holly Harrison: percussion

Two Arirang

Jin Ju Yang

Various provinces in Korea have a folksong named ‘Arirang’ and each one has musical characteristics of its province. Two Arirang is an arrangement of ‘Bonjo Arirang’ (from Gyeong-gi Province, this song is well-known with several versions) and ‘Cheong-ju Arirang’. In early 2000, Cheong-ju Arirang was found in China among Koreans who were forced to migrate during colonisation in 1930s. Jin Ju Yang is a doctoral student at Western Sydney University.

Mass Carib: Kyrie and Gloria

Felix Cross

Mass Carib subverts the Latin Mass to tell of the enslavement and forced passage of Africans to the Caribbean. This performance was for the 50th anniversary of Trinidad & Tobago’s Independence. I replaced prayers and biblical passages with speeches tracing emancipation to freedom from colonial rule. Mass Carib has been used to commemorate other occasions including the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade and as a memorial/fundraiser for victims of the Haitian earthquake

Desire and Attachment

Robert Moss

Robert’s research project involves the exploration of a prosocial compositional voice designed to unmask the orchestra in a popular music context while drawing on a pool of musical organisms composed through a psychotherapeutic process. The compositions incorporate shared aesthetics of Film Music, Australian Rock and Chinese popular music.