Andrew Faleatua

How has the Anne Reid Memorial Trust Scholarship assisted me while studying away from New Zealand?

The financial assistance that I received from the Anne Reid Memorial Trust Scholarship has been indispensable to setting me up for PhD study here in Sydney. It was used for general living costs, a tenancy bond, the transporting of a keyboard and musical sound equipment from Auckland to Sydney and course fees. The cost of these necessities accumulated to a surprisingly high sum that I would not have been able to afford without the financial assistance granted by the Anne Reid Memorial Trust.

What is my PhD about?

I am undertaking a PhD at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. My project consists of two components. The first component is compositional based and its chief aim is to express my cultural identity in a unique way by integrating musical elements from contemporary and traditional Polynesian music into my own style of jazz composition, which I have developed particularly over the past five years of performing and studying jazz music at the University of Auckland. The second component involves research into contemporary syncretic Polynesian music in relation to ‘cultural identity and musical appropriation’. I seek to inform current understandings surrounding these issues primarily through qualitative research methods such as interviews and participant-based observations during my compositional process and cultural collaborations.

What am I currently working on?

I am in the process of composing a number of works for an album next year, the 2014 Samoan Jazz Festival and various performances in Australia. I have met many new musicians and vocalists here in Sydney who have very kindly offered to contribute to my project. I am also in the process of organising a number of collaborations that will take place back home with artists in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

In terms of research, Dr Christopher Coady, my temporary supervisor, is currently helping me negotiate various ethical issues surrounding my project.