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Echoes: Harmonies in Japanese and Aboriginal Australian Music

By Matthew Doyle, Riley Lee, Allan Marett

February 9, 2017

In a panel hosted by Professor Allan Marett (Sydney Conservatorium of Music), shakuhachi Grand Master Riley Lee and acclaimed indigenous performing artist Matthew Doyle will discuss cross-cultural musical collaborations with Japanese and Indigenous Australian musical instruments. The talk will conclude with a short shakuhachi and didgeridoo performance by Riley Lee and Matthew Doyle.


Matthew Doyle is one of Australia’s most acclaimed indigenous performing artists: a musician, singer, dancer, composer, and choreographer. He is a descendant of the Muruwari Aboriginal nation from northwest NSW and is also of Irish heritage.

Since graduating from NAISDA Dance College, he has worked with numerous high profile artists and companies such as Bangarra Dance Theatre, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Riley Lee, and many more. Matthew has also performed at a number of major international events, including three Olympiads (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004). He currently teaches at NAISDA and works in various schools and communities.


Dr Riley Lee began playing the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) in 1971, studying with Chikuho Sakai until 1980 and with Katsuya Yokoyama since 1984. He was given the rank of Dai Shihan (grand master) in 1980.

During his time living in Japan learning the shakuhachi, he also became a full-time performer of taiko, yokobue, and shakuhachi with Ondekoza (now called Kodo), a traditional Japanese ensemble. He moved to Australia with his family in 1986 in order to take up a PhD fellowship at the University of Sydney. He has since stayed in Sydney with his family, and went on to co-found TaikOz and collaborate with various musicians, playing the shakuhachi in various settings from atop the Sydney Opera House to inside the cavernous Jenolan Caves.


Prof Allan Marett is Emeritus Professor of Musicology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has taught ethnomusicology at the University of Sydney, Charles Darwin University, and Hong Kong University. He specialises in the research and study of Aboriginal song and music, and was co-founder of the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia. He has published numerous books and papers on Aboriginal music traditions, including the award-winning book Songs, Dreamings, and Ghosts: The Wangga of North Australia, which was culmination of nearly twenty years of research.

Allan’s research also extends to Japanese music. He has published widely on the Japanese Court Music tradition, gagaku. He has also written two Noh plays in English, in collaboration with Richard Emmert and Akira Matsui: Eliza (1989) and Oppenheimer (2015).

Presented by

Event Partners


6:30pm-8pm (doors open at 6pm)

The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008

Free, bookings essential

(02) 8239 0055


Echoes: Solo Didgeridoo Concert
February 25, 2017
3pm-4:30pm (Doors open 2:30pm)
The Japan Foundation Gallery

Ainu Sounds: Indigenous Sounds: Indigenous Music From Japan with Nobuhiko ‘Sanpe’ Chiba
March 10, 2017 (Friday)

Images Courtesy of Matthew Doyle at the NAIDOC 2016 opening ceremony in Sydney (Photo by Noel Fisher), Riley Lee in concert, The Beauty of 8 (Source: TaikOz website).

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