Leia was awarded the Singapore-based Loke Cheng-Kim scholarship to study Music (BA Hons) at King’s College, Cambridge, in 2018. Having graduated with a First with Distinction, she is now pursuing a Master of Studies in Musicology at St Catherine’s College, Oxford.
Leia believes that contemporary musicology best reflects the way she has always thought of music — as a branch of the humanities as well as an art form. Sound and music are at once deeply personal experiences and organisers of social life bound up in politics, intercultural contact, new technologies, and many important aspects of our human (and increasingly posthuman) existence. Thus, studying musicology and attempting to address these entanglements is to her a commitment to interdisciplinary learning and evaluation. She takes joy in drawing from different areas of knowledge, particularly critical theory (postcolonial, gender and queer studies), language/literature and dance, and wants to create art and scholarship that addresses the arts’ social and ethical significance as well as appraises the aesthetics of everyday life.
To these ends, she has worked (through artistic performance and writing) on the musicality of speech, the ethical value(s) of musicking in crises, post-humanism in multimedia and performance art, Indian Classical Dance and Western Concert Dance. In her Master of Studies, she hopes to further some of these strands while stylistically integrating academic, literary and musical writing formats and artistic practice in pursuit of a “drastic” musicology (after Carolyn Abbate) rooted in a broad idea of “performance.”
She is extremely grateful to have received the Ertegun Scholarship. She knows that this will be fruitful for interdisciplinary and intercultural work by facilitating easy collaboration with humanities scholars, and, by providing a unique framework of learning including seminars and showcases, that the Scholarship will undoubtedly enrich the quality of her life beyond her degree.