Image credit: Ria Soemardjo. Photograph by Max Milne.

Shelter by Ria Soemardjo


“I was drawn to record a song that leaves the listener into a space of calm and reflection, and a spark of hopefulness.

There has been so much disturbing news coming in lately, the shape of our future seems to be shifting every second day, and I hadn’t been singing or playing my instruments very much. It was actually hard to find that authentic spark of hope I had initially wanted to share in this commission. And then while I was working on this song, my friend Ron Reeves (a wonderful musician who has spent many years in Indonesia) brought a huge Sundanese gong over to my house, which had been in storage for years.

I think that the deep voice of this gong speaks to our bones, regardless of  language or culture. It reminded me to sit still and listen and let the hope and the song come to the surface, no need to chase after it.

So my Shelter song is just me singing, in my lounge room, with 2 gongs, just the bare bones…

I recommend listening with good headphones or speakers if you can, to get the full magical gong effect…”

Shelter by Ria Soemardjo is created for Shelter 2020.