Ria will be performing in two exciting new events at Mapping Melbourne Festival this December 2017
Framed Percussion Ensemble - performing at Jaranan film night. a new project led by master percussionist Ron Reeves, featuring dynamic, mesmerising grooves on Javanese framedrums. A short contemporary ritual performance in collaboration with dancers Janette Hoe and Adam Forbes. December 2, 8pm. Free entry, but to book a seat and receive a snack - book here >
The Echoes Project -
Under the Facing Heaven Archway in Chinatown Plaza, one dancer and three musicians take you on a journey, evoking fragments of forgotten stories from the surrounding laneways.
Through THE ECHOES PROJECT, Janette Hoe (dance artist) and Ria Soemardjo (vocalist) explore personal connection to Chinese and Javanese ceremony, in response to urban sites around Australia. This contemporary performance ritual features the mesmerising rhythms of frame drums from Indonesia and The Middle East, with two of Melbournes finest percussionists, Ron Reeves and Matt Stonehouse.
Free - please register online >
BOTH EVENTS PRESENTED AS PART OF MAPPING MELBOURNE FESTIVAL > see full program
Born in Melbourne of Australian/Indonesian descent, Ria draws on her deep respect for the Javanese musical tradition in her song writing and collaborative projects. She regularly performs original compositions with her trio ‘Fine Blue Thread’ which melds tabla, cello, viola and voice. 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 received Green Room nominations for her compositions and live music 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
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