Gillian Howell's community music Asialink residency, 2010-2011.
Musician Doug Coghill shares his violin with Lospalos kids
Gillian Howell leads song-writing workshop in English language class
Toka Boot (The Big Play), in the Merkadu Antigu, Lospalos
Guitar player at the Toka Boot (Big Play)
Guitar players at the Toka Boot (Big Play)
Australian clarinettist Rachel Cashmore with students at ADM Convent
The Right to Play performance, Human Rights Day, Baucau, December 2010
Toka Boot (the Big Play), Merkadu Antigu, Lospalos
Many Hands International was privileged to host Australian musician, composer, and creative director Gillian Howell on a 14 week Asialink arts residency between September 2010 and January 2011. During her residency, Gillian developed community music projects with local community members and organisations in Baucau and Lospalos.
In Baucau, Gillian worked with Marqy da Costa and colleagues from Afalyca Art School, local womens' group Centru Feto Haburas Desivolvimentu (see Gillian's photo at right), and school students. Together they created a performance 'Right to Play' for Human Rights Day in December. Download the media release or watch a video clip of the day: 'Distritu Baucau Celebra Loron Mundial Direitus Humanus'. Visit Gillian's website to listen to the song she and the women created describing their organisation and their hopes for the future.
In Lospalos, Gillian led formal workshops, performances and informal jams in a range of locations, including in a kindergarten, English language classes, the hill village of Kakavei, the ADM Convent, Community Radio Lospalos and her front verandah. She was supported in her work in Lospalos and Baucau by musician Tony Hicks (Australian Art Orchestra). In the last two weeks of Gillian's residency, musicians Lina Andonovska, Rachel Cashmore and Doug Coghill from the Australian National Academy of Music, where Gillian is Program Director, Community Engagement, joined Gillian and participated in her workshops and performances. Gillian's residency in Lospalos ended with a community Toka Boot (Big Jam) in the Merkadu Antigu in the centre of town, to which more than 500 people turned up.
To find out more about Toka Boot, Gillian and the musicians' experiences in Timor-Leste, read:
- Articles about the project: Howell, G. Finding my place: Examining concepts of community music as a visiting artist in rural East Timor, International Journal of Community Music, 6, 1, pp. 65–78; 'From Verandah Jams to Toka Boots', in Music Education UK, Winter 2012-13, Issue 4; and Howell, G. & Dunphy, K. (2012). Toka Boot- The Big Jam: Making music in rural East Timor’, International Journal of Community Music, Special Issue, 5, 1.
- Videos of the project: instrument making, convent workshop, learning and teaching traditional song, songwriting workshop, Toka Bo'ot
- Gillian’s work on her blog
- A transcript of Gillian's interview on ABC Classic FM's Music Makers program
- The experiences of the young musicians from the ANAM who assisted with the project: lifeatanam and linaandonovska
- Article from The Age newspaper in Melbourne on the ANAM musician's trip to Timor-Leste
- Toka Boot Media Release
- Event flyer: English, Tetun, Fataluku version.
MHI thanks the supporters of Gillian's project including Arts Victoria and the Australia Council for the Arts through Asialink at The University of Melbourne. The participation of musicians from the Australian National Academy of Music was made possible by ConocoPhillips and Darwin Airport Resort. Instruments were provided by Optimum Percussion and logistical support was provided by Air North.
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