Opening of the Digital Music Hub and Margaret Kartomi Gallery of Musical Instruments and Artefacts

On Tuesday 7 June, Monash University officially launched its new state of the art Digital Music Hub and the Margaret Kartomi Gallery of Musical Instruments and Artefacts, both located within the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance (SZCSoMP).

Hosted by Professor Cat Hope, Professor Susan Elliott AM, Provost and Senior Vice-President, and Susanne Williamson, Chief Philanthropy Officer, the long-awaited in-person event featured a distinguished guest list, including Mr Kuncoro Giri Waseso, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia, for Victoria and Tasmania.

The Digital Music Hub, made possible through a transformational philanthropic contribution from the Li Family Trust, is a world-class music facility, with the aim of globalising students’ learning experience by empowering them to engage in real-time performance and teaching opportunities with leading practitioners around the world.

Through cutting-edge technology, the Digital Music Hub supports innovative education and research practice, and enables new and exciting industry links for our staff and students. Students are able to engage in an international exchange of knowledge and creativity through collaborative performance experiences, and will thrive with the opportunity to create their digital portfolios in high quality recording.

The facility consists of a central control room flanked by two live rooms, linked to other performance spaces in the SZCSoMP and enabling incoming and outgoing audio-visual streams. It will vastly enhance the studio experience for both engineers and performers, introducing more flexible teaching possibilities in a modern and professional studio environment.

The evening’s proceedings included a moving live performance of Arvo Pärt’s composition Spiegel im Spiegel by SZCSoMP student Tristan Sumarna and Assistant Lecturer Aaron Wyatt. Mr Sumarna performed in the School’s auditorium, while Mr Wyatt performed from one of the Hub’s live rooms.

The Margaret Kartomi Gallery, brought about thanks to a generous donation from Emeritus Professor Margaret Kartomi AM, showcases a significant collection of Indonesian traditional instruments and performance artefacts collected by Professor Kartomi AM over the course of her illustrious career.

The Gallery houses unique and rare items from the Music Archive of Monash University (MAMU), and is a testament to Professor Kartomi’s extraordinary commitment to music and Australia-Indonesia relations. One of the Gallery’s permanent displays is The Gamelan Digul, an unparalleled ensemble of gamelan instruments built by Indonesian anti-colonialists in the Boven Digul Dutch prison camp in 1926.

The current exhibition, Artistic Treasures from Sumatra and Java, is devoted to rare art objects from Indonesia. Its glass cabinets show art works from Central Java, West Java, Lampung, North Sumatra, Aceh and the Riau Islands.

The launch of both the Digital Music Hub and the Margaret Kartomi Gallery elevates the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance as a global leader in celebrating, preserving and sharing music heritage, and highlights Monash’s commitment to creating thriving communities through fostering an understanding and deep appreciation of cross-cultural connections.

The Margaret Kartomi Gallery is open to the public Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm. It is located on the Clayton campus:

Ground Floor Foyer, Performing Arts Centre,

Building 68, 55 Scenic Boulevard,

Monash University, Clayton 3800

To learn more about study options with the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance, visit their website.

To view photos from the evening, visit the Monash Arts Facebook page.