Centre of Aboriginal Studies in Music history-making Indigenous leadership

Grayson Rotumah and Dylan Crismani smile while standing in front of the Kaurna Learning Circle.

Left to right: Dr Dylan Crismani and Mr Grayson Rotumah, the new joint directors of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM).

It is with great pleasure that the Elder Conservatorium of Music announces joint Indigenous leadership for the Centre of Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM), for the first time in its fifty year history, welcoming Grayson Rotumah and Dylan Crismani as joint directors.

Mr Grayson Rotumah is a longstanding staff member of the Elder Conservatorium of Music, having been on the staff of CASM since 1996. His research investigates ways to strengthen, celebrate and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures through focussed curatorial efforts that give voice to the diversity of living, dynamic and growing Indigenous traditions in a global context.

Dr Dylan Crismani is the Lead Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Indigenous Grant, which aims to redress the cultural power imbalance between Indigenous and western musical traditions and ensure a more prominent role for Indigenous music in Australia’s national voice.

CASM is the only devoted university-based centre for studies in Australian Indigenous music, founded in partnership between by the ethnomusicologist Catherine Ellis and the acclaimed Ngarrindjeri poet Leila Rankine.

CASM's early programs also built on deep exchanges with the Anangu community at Iwantja, which led to the ground-breaking appointment of the Pitjantjatjara songman, M. Baker, as a Senior Lecturer at CASM in 1975.In the 1980s, CASM students began to focus on creating original music, and formed the ground-breaking bands, No Fixed Address, Us Mob, Coloured Stone, and Kuckles. More recent CASM alumni, Zaachariaha Fielding of the band Electric Fields, Ellie Lovegrove and Simi Vuata, are widely acclaimed performing artists.

More information about CASM can be found on our website.

Tagged in elder conservatorium of music, arts business law economics, Staff