Penang House of Music’s (PHoM) efforts to safeguard the musical, artistic and cultural heritage of the state and country have caught the eye of foreign organisations.
Besides generating publicity, the recognition also led to invitations for PHoM founder and director Paul Augustin to speak at two major international virtual conferences.
He was a panellist in a discussion held as part of Unesco Bangkok’s launch of its ‘Backstage: Managing Creativity and the Arts in Southeast Asia’ report and a book titled ‘Re-imagining Creative Cities in Twenty-First Century Asia’.
Held on Aug 14, the event highlighted the challenges faced by creative industry organisations in the Covid-19 pandemic plus the key differentiators that allow some to be successful.
Next up, Augustin will be a keynote speaker at the International Association for Sound and Audiovisual Archives 2021 Conference from Sept 27 to 30.
He will give a 40-minute presentation on PHoM’s journey and take part in a 20-minute Q&A session.
“These invitations are great opportunities not only for the PHoM team and me but also for Penang and Malaysia to be recognised internationally for efforts in preserving intangible heritage like music and the arts.
“It is something we’re passionate about and it shows that what we do makes a difference and is appreciated,” Augustin said.
Looking back to November 2016 when PHoM first opened, he said it had been a tough journey but also an exciting one filled with discoveries.
“People often don’t realise the huge impact that music has on their everyday lives.
“Music evokes emotions. When you’re happy, you sing a happy song. When you’re sad, you listen to a sad song and it can make you feel better!
“It has the power to influence moods, motivate or inspire. Just imagine a world without music. It would be devoid of life and soul,” Augustin added.