Asiatopa Festival February 2020 - Hades Fading/Hades Memudar
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- Ria Soemardjo is a Melbourne based musician with a passion for collaborating with artists across diverse range of genres and artforms.
- Her distinct, haunting vocal style and reflects her Australian/Indonesian cultural heritage. Although born in Melbourne, her creative process is often inspired by her life long fascination with Balinese and Javanese cultural traditions. Over the last 10 years, Ria has created and performed music for wide range of independent contemporary dance, theatre and mixed media projects in Australia and Asia. In 2019 she spent a month in residency (with Melbourne director/writer, Sandra Long) at the Nuart Sculpture Park in Bandung, West Java, working with Main Teater company to create music and vocal scores for a multi-media site specific theatre performance. The work will feature at 2020 Asiatopa festival.
- Ria’s ongoing 'The Echoes Project' reflects her deep interest in developing powerful contemporary performance/rituals, in response to urban sites. She was the lead collaborator in two events for Mapping Melbourne festival, which took audiences on an extraordinary journey through Chinatown (2017) and the Mission to Seafarer’s historic site (2018). Ria’s compositions and live music performance for dance works have received Green Room nominations – including Enfold (2016) and Opal Vapour (2013). Both of these performances also featured her unique textile sculptures, and she continues to explore ways to integrate her formal training in fine arts through her exploration of ritual and ceremony in a contemporary context.
All Ria’s work integrates, in quite an exquisite way, an aesthetic coming directly from an Asian tradition (with which she has cultural links) and her Australian context. This kind of work enriches the culturally diverse landscape in Australia and opens new possibilities. It is breathtakingly beautiful, and deserves to be fostered in order to continue and grow....Ria is an artist of great skill and humility, who is quite unique in her ideas, talents and dedication to her work. (Bagryana Popov 2002)
‘Ria Soemardjo……..sang with a delicate yet compelling voice’
Xenia Hanusiak, Herald-Sun 2004