At QCRC we are active community members
We seek to work hand-in-hand with communities to explore music’s role in promoting cultural and environmental sustainability, health equity and social justice. Within this area, we provide an activist space for researchers and community members to work on projects that harness music’s potential for addressing the most pressing issues of our time.
Several major projects fall into our Music and communities research area, including five successive Australian Research Council Linkage Grants: Sound Links (on community music in Australia), Redefining Places for Art (on the shifting relationship between performance experience and location), Sustainable Futures for Music Cultures (on supporting communities to keep their musical practices strong), Captive Audiences (on performing arts programs in Australian prisons) and Creative Barkly (on the arts and cultural sector in the remote Northern Territory).
Music and Communities
Music and Communities at QCRC
Meet Dr Catherine Grant, research area convenor of the Music and Communities focus area at Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre. Catherine discusses her research projects as well as other key collaborations in this exciting area of music research. To learn more about the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Google "QCRC Griffith".
Our projects embrace a wide range of contexts for music-making and sonic awareness. These include post-conflict societies, prisons, Indigenous communities, minority communities, and natural marine and terrestrial settings, as well as more traditional contexts such as concert halls, alternative music venues and festivals.
River Listening from Source to Sea
The interdisciplinary project ‘River Listening from Source to Sea: Towards a Live Sound Map of Australian Freshwater Ecosystems’ will result in a portfolio of outcomes including an interactive website and mobile application designed to understand the biological and cultural diversity of river systems in Australia through sound. This Australian Council Grant builds on the success of River Listening, a long-term collaboration between Australian Rivers Institute and QCRC. The project will work directly with remote and regional communities and Indigenous custodians along the Fitzroy River (WA), the Mary River (QLD) and the Murray River (VIC / SA). The team will record and map each location and engage with diverse knowledge systems through interdisciplinary workshops exploring the soundscapes of the river.
This project responded to a direct request from a group of Aboriginal women at Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre to create a culturally appropriate sound recording for the purpose of reducing stress and connecting to natural environments and to country. Funded by the Lowitja Institute, it was built on a strong foundation of previous creative engagement and consultation with women incarcerated in Queensland.
Team members: Sarah Woodland, Leah Barclay, Bianca Beetson (Queensland College of Art), and Vicki Saunders (QCRC Adjunct), with support from Aunty Melita Orcher and Aunty Estelle Sandow from the Brisbane Council of Elders.
Singing to Beat Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive condition that affects the brain with no known cure. This project explores the experience of singing in a group comprising people with Parkinson’s and their carers, and its effect on participants’ quality-of-life in terms of voice, communication, and psychosocial well-being. Singing groups have been set up in South East Queensland, with comparative projects underway internationally.
Team members: Dr Irene Bartleet, Professor Don Stewart, Dr Yoon Irons
Partners: Sydney de Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, UK; Peking University, Beijing; Ewha Womans University, Seoul
Living Heritage: The Artists of Cambodian Chapei
This project is a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, collaborative research venture bringing together researcher Catherine Grant (QCRC), documentary photographer Heather Faulkner (QCA), leading Cambodian writer So Phina (Cambodian Living Arts), and the Community of Living Chapei, a group of Chapei artists based in Phnom Penh. With Chapei formally recognised by UNESCO as in need of urgent safeguarding, this project aimed to contribute to local and international efforts to document, promote and celebrate this part of Cambodia’s living cultural heritage. The resulting artist book showcases the richness of this musical and cultural tradition, unravelling the story of the charismatic contemporary performers, students, teachers, masters, and instrument-makers in whose hands lies the future of this art form.
Team members: Dr Catherine Grant, Dr Heather Faulkner, So Phina, Keat Sokim, Pich Sarath, members of the Community of Living Chapei
Partners: Cambodian Living Arts, Community of Living Chapei