Tekee Media Inc
p r o j e c t s

The Tekee Tokee Tomak Music Recovery Project

"I most strongly recommend this project as a fun educational resource for young children in East Timor.

"The people involved are Ros Dunlop (musician/teacher) and Martin Wesley-Smith (leading Australia composer), are likely to work with full cultural sensitivity. Kathryn Morgan their assistant is herself a very sensitive young Australian, native Tetum-speaker, and very knowledgeable of East Timor realities."

Dr. José Ramos-Horta
Nobel Peace Prize laureate

overview aims program budget

As a result of East Timor's struggle between 1975 and 1999, its traditional musical culture has either disappeared or remains deeply hidden. This project aims to collect, for archival and other purposes, songs of all kinds from all over East Timor. Of particular interest is the rediscovery of children's music and rhymes, which form the basis of all social and musical learning.

Ros Dunlop, one of Australia's leading musicians, and Martin Wesley-Smith, one of Australia's leading composers and a long-time supporter of the East Timor cause, toured and performed in East Timor in 2002. They saw first-hand both the resilience of the East Timorese people and the severity of the situation. It is from this experience that led Ros to develop this project.

Assisting Ros are various people, including Kathryn Morgan, who has spent a lot of time in East Timor, and Martin Wesley-Smith.

two lakadou players

two lakadou players in East Timor
[click photo for a larger version (68k)
in colour]

aims program budget overview

[i] the preservation, through recording, transcribing etc and live performance (in Australia, East Timor and elsewhere), of the traditional musical culture of East Timor; and

[ii] the establishment of a self-sustaining program that will provide educational and employment opportunities for East Timorese people

With the knowledge gained from her first tour in 2002, her personal experience of running children's musical classes in Australia, and the experience of working closely with the sisters of the Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies, in particular with the Timorese translator Luisa Cunha Marques, Ros has developed a collection of children's songs that have been translated into Tetum (East Timor's main indigenous language). They form the beginning of a much larger volume of songs to be used by local music educators. It is imperative to the project that indigenous songs form a large part of this material - hence the need to rediscover and collect these. This would require the knowledge and assistance particularly in language transcription and translation by Timorese, particularly in East Timor but also in Australia.

For the past three years Ros has conducted an on-going program in Sydney to collect musical instruments for East Timorese musicians to replace those destroyed in 1999. Through further acquisition of instruments, and contributing to and nurturing the re-establishment of traditional music and culture, our project seeks to give support to a profoundly traumatised and dispossessed group of people. Music and song are accepted methods of assisting in the problems associated with such trauma and in aiding the healing process.

This project would be the basis of an on-going self-sustaining program of musical training of Timorese educators. Initial workshops at Arte Moris, Catholic Education Centres, and the Centro Audio-Visual Max Stahl Timor Leste (CAMS Timor Leste) would lead to music workshops for pre-school, infant and early primary school children. CAMS Timor Leste's premises are ideal for these. It is envisaged that the already thriving theatre department of Arte Moris would utilise the music department for theatrical television, radio and live productions, with some of this carrying on from the children's television show we hope to produce (TVTL - Television Timor Leste - is keen to have a lot more local content in its programming).

program budget overview aims

For this multifaceted project Tekee Media Inc would:

[1] establish contacts and facilities to research, record, transcribe and translate, with the assistance and guidance of East Timorese communities in East Timor and Australia, traditional songs of East Timor; this would involve working in collaboration with the Centro Audio-Visual Max Stahl Timor Leste, Arte Moris/Bibi Bulak, and local educators in pre-schools and infant schools;

[2] research, record etc the material; work with local educators in infants, pre-school and primary schools; conduct music and instrument-making classes with teachers (many of these have been set up by Sister Aurora of Eskola Konassa and Sister Tess Ward of the Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies); a major spin-off would be the eventual establishment of a music centre for local youth, which would entail training local people in the method and delivery of music classes for young children, including instrument-making classes using recycled materials;

instrument-building class

an instrument-building class in East Timor
[click photo for a larger version (416k) in colour]

[3] archive the material collected; publish it in a book of East Timorese children's songs and on CD (layout, design etc by UNDP); these publications would be of great value to East Timorese communities in Australia and elsewhere as well as in East Timor itself;

[4] establish music classes for young children (1-6 years old) in East Timor; promote educational children's music (and a sense of relationship between children from all parts of East Timor) by assisting the production, by local people, of a musical television show for children that features children from across the nation; and

[5] perform the material in children's concerts in Australia, East Timor and elsewhere.

budget overview aims program

We estimate that c.AUD120,000 will be needed, and are currently seeking donations, sponsorships and other financial support. We have already received support in kind from many sources, including Air North, AusAudio, City of Sydney Council, Digidesign, Flight Centre, Intelliware, the Kangaroo Valley/Remexio Partnership, Leichhardt Municipal Council, the Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies, Reeds Australia, and the Sydney Guitar Centre. Our grateful thanks to all.

If you wish to assist, in any way, with this project, please contact Ros Dunlop.

contact details:

Tekee Media Inc
c/o Ros Dunlop
17 Callan St, Rozelle
NSW 2039 Australia
tel: 02 9810 2253; mob: [+61] 0418 802 757

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site updated April 28 2005