Ria Soemardjo is a vocalist and teacher. Born in Melbourne of Australian/Indonesian descent, Ria draws on her deep respect for the Javanese musical tradition in her original compositions and soundscapes. She has performed in the classical Javanese vocal repertoire for many years and continues to perform regularly with gamelan groups around Australia.
Her distinct, haunting vocal style also reflects an eclectic range of influences, and she has recorded with a diverse range of ensembles – across genres including contemporary and trad world, to jazz and improvisation. Ria has a passion for collaborating with artists across diverse artforms and cultures. She has performed internationally in a range of diverse projects incorporating contemporary dance, theatre and installations, She has received Green Room nominations for her compositions and performance for dance works– including Enfold (2016) and Opal Vapour (2013) – and an award with Helen Mountfort for ‘Tower Suites’(2012), with dancer Ros Warby,. Recent collaborations include – sound design and composition for ‘Chinese Whispers’ installation (winner of best live art in Melbourne Fringe Festival). Ria has recently launched ‘Blueprint’ - the second album of original music with her trio ‘Fine Blue Thread’ featuring tabla, cello, viola and voice.
Other past performing highlights include Melbourne Recital Centre, Singapore Performing Arts Showcase and the Biwako Biennale (Japan) 2007 with the Tony Yap Company. Ria has been a featured artist at the Melbourne Festival in 2006 and 2007 and her performances at the Iwaki auditorium have been broadcast on Radio National ‘Music Deli’ shows.