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Sounds Across Oceans is a new not-for-profit music organisation established by composer/educator Dr. Anthony Garcia, to explore and promote a more holistic vision of music and its role in society. Through innovative education programs, workshops, festival curation, and performances that focus on collaboration, improvisation, and experimentation SAO builds bridges between genres, cultures, and communities.

Our Team

At the heart of SAO is growing team of facilitators, many experienced in world, classical and contemporary genres with a proven track record of excellence in project development, innovative collaboration, cross-cultural sensitivity with a passion for musical exploration. Our facilitators can be seen as teaching artists, that is, artists in their own right who have an innate gift for sharing ideas and nurturing learning experiences in others. The acclaimed American musician/teacher Eric Booth defines a teaching artist as a practicing professional artist with the complementary skills, curiosities and sensibilities of an educator, who can effectively engage a wide range of people in learning experiences in, through, and about the arts.” It is this dual capacity to create and to help others create that exemplifies an SAO facilitator.

Supporting people from different cultures, backgrounds and disciplines to create together is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had as an artist. I feel this work is vital for the wellbeing of our society and an essential platform for self-discovery, communal understanding and the nurturing of important human values; respect, love, giving and sharing. Being part of this journey as an artist, program participant or supporter is a transformative choice. We all have gifts and capacities that can contribute to our evolving wellbeing. I sincerely hope readers can connect with us and we can start a dialogue around how we work together and help one another.
(Dr Anthony Garcia, co-founder/artistic director SAO)

Board of Directors

Anthony Gracia
Founder & Artistic Director

Dr. Anthony Garcia

Anthony Garcia is a renowned guitarist, composer and educator who has performed and collaborated with creative practitioners across styles and cultures throughout Australian, Thailand, Japan, China, Europe, Mexico and the United States. His compositional output traverses ethnic, classical and jazz sound-worlds and includes acclaimed recordings with didgeridoo master William Barton and Latin harpist Sandra Real. Anthony’s love for teaching, sharing ideas and collaborating has led to the development of innovative education programs that foster inclusivity, intercultural experimentation, improvisation and composition.


Dr Anthony Garcia
Artistic Director

Development Manager

Jennifer Garcia

Jennifer Garcia is a passionate advocate for the arts with extensive experience in cultural programming and event management. With a talent for creating innovative & targeted marketing & public relations campaigns Jen aspires to integrate diverse and interlocking fields through the development of events that promote cultural inclusivity, originality and creative expression across a broad spectrum of artistic practices.


Jennifer Garcia


Patrick Manahan

Sounds Across Oceans Ltd

ABN 90 286 059 651
QLD 4031

About Us

Established in 2014 Sounds Across Oceans grew out of growing recognition that music had traditionally played a fundamental role in fostering creative thinking and expression across fields and that new modes of practice that integrated a more diverse range of styles and approaches to music-making were essential for this to continue.  The name Sounds Across Oceans symbolizes our desire to develop a global creative vision while exploring the multidimensional capacity of music to create and share new ideas, uplift, heal, shift energies and ignite new perspectives.

Sounds Across Oceans approach fosters inclusivity and explores how the arts across disciplines, can come together to offer our world solutions in finding meaning, clarity of self,  as well as having fun..

To date Sounds Across Oceans workshops have been facilitated in Thailand, at Kedron High School through an Arts Queensland Residency, in the corporate sector with Expedia Travel and through the SAO Summer School developed in partnership with BEMAC, Heinrich-böll-schule Rodgau, Germany.

New Pedagogies of Practice: Teaching Methodology

The methodology underpinning the SAO approach has evolved from research into improvisational practice, intercultural collaboration and action learning and emphasizes the importance of respect, cultural sensitivity, musical openness, spontaneity and mentor-guided risk taking. An important objective of SAO is to research and document the methods and processes that generate healthy, positive artistic, psychosocial outcomes for participating students, artists and organizations.

The SAO approach employs a mixture of traditional and experimental learning methods such as playing and arranging songs and instrumental works by ear, using notational frameworks where appropriate, free and guided improvisation and group composition. Our open and flexible collaborative teaching method is conducive to bringing participants of differing skill levels, styles, instrument groupings and from different musical traditions together to develop new creative pathways together. The results continue to inspire and are a reminder that with the appropriate guidance people of all ages and stages can generate beautiful original musical ideas.

Dream Culture

Take a deeper dive into the underlying creative and philosophical values being developed by SAO

Timeless wisdom can be accessed now through the expression of tones, sounds, movements and practices that have ancient origins.  By generating authentic platforms for the synthesized expression of both ancient and contemporary creative practices we activate that aspect within us that knows, and has always known, there is more to life than meets the eye. There are inner worlds that must be acknowledged and dreams that must be expressed, manifested. Part of the great tension of our world is the suppression of these energies.  Part of our great transformation will be finding healthy ways to express these energies.  Suppression equates to a form of suffering, whether it be acute depression & anxiety or merely lethargy, cynicism, apathy or a feeling that the changes we want to see, feel and experience in the world are too big or overwhelming to contemplate.  There is a way, however, to shift energies and ignite new perspectives—by creating within yourself that which you wish to experience outside yourself; joy, love, freedom, peace, excitement, positivity and purpose. These are the hallmarks of creative flow and this flow is something everyone can experience, no matter what your artistic skill level or experience in a given artform may be.

Too often we are taught to express in culturally narrow, creatively limited and highly controlled ways.  We have all had experiences creating as children when we were told that’s not the right way to do it, even when it felt right and natural for us. This is how expression and creativity are stifled, potentialities restricted and mindsets closed. The teaching artists who are the life-blood of our organisation have all worked through these experiences and developed the resilience, openness, empathy and capacity to support others to express in natural, authentic and liberating ways.

PhD research conducted by SAO co-founder Dr Anthony Garcia at the University of Tasmania between 2011-2015 laid the foundation for an approach to creative practice that would, over many years, evolve into the  SAO philosophy of practice.  This philosophy is not a system of thinking or dialectic debate or dialogue as is common in the Western philosophical tradition, though beautiful thoughts, creative ideas, reflections and discussions are part of the process.  Rather, the philosophy emerges through the act of expression itself—through the physical manifestation of creativity—singing, making music, dancing, feeling, meditating.  And yes meditation is a creative act because you change in palpable, noticeable ways and creativity is the art of change.  Through creative expression, guided by expert teaching artists the collective can fine tune attention and focus, activate relaxation and body awareness allowing the heart and mind to balance. This balance opens up a stream of energy that supports inner awareness and understanding. From this place, knowledge emerges in myriad ways but particularly through an embodied wisdom—an inner feeling of freedom and wellbeing.  Knowledge of the self and a sensate awareness of the foundational values and principles that support a healthy and flourishing life as an individual and collectively.

These concepts have not emerged purely through reading or traditional learning methods. They have emerged spontaneously, over time, through experimental programming that fosters the kind of improvisatory expression that manifests original thinking, numinous experience and intuitive insight. The vision developed through these creative experiences generates an intuition that propels us forward toward an unknown destination—a future yet conceived of but one we sense and trust is more balanced, harmonised, expressive, healthy, supportive, creative and alive. This is the artists journey.  It can at times be a painful and challenging journey. Many suffer deeply for their choice to live a creative, artistic life. But ironically, many who choose not to, also suffer deeply by disconnecting from the creative life forces that needs to be released and expressed.

Seeing the irony allows us to sense the opportunity and seize the day.  Economically and materially focused people need healing as much as artistically minded people do.  There is a way overdue collaborative model just waiting to be activated through innovative arts programming that brings diverse people together to share ideas, support one another and create new cultural stories of us. The model is one where economic value and artistic value are understood to be two sides of the same coin—two distinct energies that need to synthesise to support a holistic wellbeing that all people benefit from.