EXEMPLIFYING CURATORIAL INTELLIGENCE

Soundarie David

The closest analogy to installing a museum exhibition is conducting a symphony orchestra” stated Walter Hopps, one of the keenest curatorial minds, equating the selection process of artists to a musician’s perfect pitch. We found this notion to be vividly demonstrated in the intuitive curatorial intelligence refined by Soundarie David, performance artist, classical pianist, accompanist and director of the Soul Sounds Academy. As she intermingles with these multiple roles, we found her innate curatorial intelligence spanning across her compositions, concerts and performances.

Soundarie concluded her academic musical journey at the prestigious Royal College of Music in London (RCM London), where she was conferred with the award Associate of the Royal College of Music in piano performance and piano accompaniment. She is a member of the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka, and is the Sri Lankan Representative on the Council for Musica Mundi, a global organisation for music that hosts several prestigious International Choral Festivals and Competitions. Her culmination as a music director was achieved with the formation of Soul Sounds, the first female ensemble in Sri Lanka to venture into the world of international choral music, creating a unique identity making choral music a timely aspect of the music scene. She is a prolific musician who has not only managed to spread her artistic influence locally across communities, but also internationally through various platforms such as the Bombay Symphony Orchestra, Asian Choir Games and performances with Soul Sounds in Australia, China, Kuwait, USA, Malaysia and South Africa.

We found Soundarie approaching curation as a musician and a pianist by creating artistic value through musical selection and composition while being involved in performance. An example she draws is her assessment of whether the choir should follow the original structure of the song or rearrange the melody. She also recalls their performance in Russia, which combined eminent Russian compositions with traditional drumming. Even though there was a fusion with the local traditional drumming, the original compositions by Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff remained untarnished. We perceive her innate curatorial intelligence in her a process of selection and editing where she demonstrates a malleability and versatility fostered over the years.

ARTRA is Sri Lanka’s Art Magazine exploring curated content on Sri Lanka’s visual art, performance art, applied art and written art. Launched in 2012, ARTRA Magazine is a compact monthly art read providing a comprehensive understanding on Sri Lankan artists, art events, monthly art calendars and the Sri Lankan design landscape. In sum, all you need to know about art in Sri Lanka.

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2nd April, 2019 Performance Art

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