Dr Kirsty Gillespie

Marson Collection Revealed: Part 1

From celebrations to break-ups, good times to sad times, there’s no doubt music is a major part of our lives. Music is a form of self-expression, and something that we as humans can all relate and connect to on an emotional level.

Over two episodes we are going to reveal a special “living” collection which consists of 830 traditional musical instruments from around the world. So join me, Laura Cantrell, museum graphic designer and sometimes podcast host, as we take a musical journey through the Marson Collection with museum honorary Dr Kirsty Gillespie.

Meet our guest

Kirsty joined the Queensland Museum (QMN) in December 2016 as Senior Curator Anthropology, a joint position with James Cook University. She was previously a Research Fellow within the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland (UQ), where she worked closely with a cultural heritage program operating in the context of mining in the Lihir Islands, Papua New Guinea. Since January 2020 Kirsty has held the position of Honorary Research Fellow with the Cultures and Histories Program at Queensland Museum.

Kirsty has conducted extensive fieldwork across Papua New Guinea. Her doctoral research (2004-2007) into the musical practices of the Duna people living at Lake Kopiago, Hela Province, was the subject of her first book, Steep Slopes: Music and change in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (ANU Press, 2010). Kirsty’s work with Lihir people in New Ireland Province has included the curation of the exhibition Musical Landscapes of Lihir (UQ Anthropology Museum, 2013), and the book publication Pil: Ancestral Stories of the Lihir Islands (Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies, 2018).

What is the Marson Collection?

In 2002 Charles and Kati Marson donated more than 800 musical instruments to Queensland Museum in partnership with the Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University. This unique collection was donated with the intention that the instruments would be available to be accessed and played by musicians with the appropriate knowledge.

Interested in learning more?

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