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Toka boot/the big jam : making music in rural East Timor
journal contributionposted on 2012-03-01, 00:00 authored by G Howell, Kim Dunphy
This article discusses a community music project in rural East Timor. Australian musician Gillian Howell lived for three months in the isolated town of Lospalos as an Asialink artist-in-residence, where she worked with local community members and visiting Australian musicians to share music and ideas, and to communicate across cultures. Three activities are described in detail: a songwriting project, a large-scale community music event and a series of informal jam sessions, particularly with respect to the context, teaching and learning models used. An evaluation of the impact of the project on participants, other community members and visiting musicians, indicated that stakeholders valued the project highly for a range of different reasons. These included fun and enjoyment, maintenance of cultural heritage, creative expression, English language learning and cross-cultural exchange. Learnings and recommendations for future similar cross-cultural collaborations include the value of integrating local music traditions with new participatory arts approaches.