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Confirmation of Candidature - Candidate : David Rastrick

Oceanic Jazz: Creative Potentials for Fusions of Jazz With Traditional and Regional Music of Oceania
07 MAR 2023
2.00 PM - 3.30 PM

This practice-led Doctor of Creative Arts study aims to explore and create hybrids of traditional and regional Oceanic music with jazz music. As a professional jazz trumpet player, vocalist, and composer from regional Southwest Western Australia, I realised that little of my jazz practice was based on music of the region I am from Australia, within Oceania. Thus, my research explores infusing my musical compositions with a `sense of place' namely, the belonging, connection, and identity that inhabitants of a place feel with their geographic location. In doing so, I seek to assert decolonial Oceanic identities and sense of place in the jazz of Oceania. 

My artistic practice sits within World Jazz, a hybrid genre in which global music is fused with jazz music. World Jazz and has been a sub-genre of jazz since the music's early years, beginning with the Tango of the 1910s-1920s, growing to include Afro-Cuban, Persian jazz, Bossa-Nova, Ethio-Jazz and more. Nonetheless, despite this diversity, there is little creative work or research on World Jazz from Oceania. 

To address this gap, this project employs practice-led methodology and intercultural collaboration to create "Oceanic Jazz", employing methods such as collaborative composing, re-arranging, multi-track recording, informal interviewing of collaborators, and reflective journaling. I will use the theoretical lens of Postcolonialism to inform the project's ethical intercultural collaboration. Postcolonial perspectives will guide my reflexivity as both practitioner and researcher in the creation of the new music and spur my growth as an artist beyond the operational mindset of `western' colonial dominance. This project will produce new knowledge of effective and ethical means of intercultural collaboration within the novel geographic and postcolonial context of the Oceania region. Outcomes will be twenty-four pieces of recorded music, and extracts of musical scores, which will serve as the first examples of Oceanic Jazz.  The research will produce a process model of hybridisation and ethical intercultural collaboration for jazz musicians from Oceania and further afield, and encourage musicians to embrace a practice expressive of their regional identity. In documenting the process of musical de-colonisation and de-neo-colonisation, the project will create a new jazz music that expresses the unique identity and sense of place for the people of Oceania.

For more information, please email the Graduate Research School or phone 0746 31 1088.