The Faculty of Education and Arts Strategic Network: Torres Strait Islander sacred music: protection, cultivation and revitalisation, work to protect, cultivate and revitalise Torres Strait Islander (TSI) music and musical practices in close collaboration with representatives from the TSI community.
For the TSI community, music helps to articulate the concepts and embodied experiences of their lives. Despite its significance to the culture, there is a fragmented and under-developed approach to the documentation and cultivation of music.
From left: TSI Sacred Music Network members Toby Whaleboat, Philip Matthias and Beimop Tapim
During 2015, the University of Newcastle's TSI Sacred Music Network will develop several existing pilot projects to their next stages, in relation to documentation, performance, education, and community engagement, including the analysis and transcription of sacred TSI music recordings held digitally in Canberra at the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies archives.
Members of the Network will also work towards the publication of traditional and contemporary sacred TSI texts and music, including new works that will incorporate both English language and the native TSI Meriam Mir language.
This is part of a larger emerging research focus in the School of Creative Industries on Australian Indigenous music and culture, which has seen Creative Arts staff and students become increasingly active in learning and teaching, and research and performance in areas of Aboriginal and TSI music and culture.
TSI dancers on Meriam Mer. Image courtesy of Network member Nick Piper