RIA SOEMARDJO FROM AUSTRALIA
Ria is a vocalist, musician, composer and teacher. Born in Melbourne of Australian / Indonesian descent, she draws on her deep respect for the Javanese musical tradition in her original compositions and soundscapes. Her distinct, haunting vocal style also reflects an eclectic range of genre 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 and she has performed internationally in a range of projects incorporating contemporary dance, theatre and installations. She has received Green Room nominations for her compositions and live music performance for dance works– including Enfold (2016) and Opal Vapour (2013) – and won a Green Room award for music composition and performance with cellist Helen Mountfort for ‘Tower Suites’(2012), with internationally acclaimed dancer Ros Warby. Recently, Ria had released Blueprint, the second album of original music with her trio Fine Blue Thread featuring tabla, cello, viola and voice. Ria’s fascination for exploring voice and the body has led her to train as an Alexander Technique teacher and she shares her unique vocal training approach through private sessions and workshops. Currently Ria is the only Australian female exponent of the Javanese classical vocal style. She has trained in central Java and continues to perform regularly with gamelan groups around Australia.