Consulting & Curating Museum Exhibitions

Rolf Killius is a consultant (museums, exhibitions, and media), exhibition curator, ethnomusicologist (MMus SOAS, London University ), oral historian, sound recordist, film producer & editor and radio journalist whose work appears in a variety of contexts.

In this capacity Rolf is able to consult to cultural institutions and organisations all around the world combining such diverse elements as exhibition curating, object research and collection, music and sound production, film production and editing, and the delivery of music, dance and arts installations related to the cultures of South Asia (especially India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan) and the Arabic States of the Gulf.

Apart from his in-depth knowledge of cultures in India, Bangladesh,Pakistan, Nepal, the Arabic States of the Gulf and media production, Rolf offers project management and team leading skills. Working closely with his clients he creates tailor-made projects, developed and managed from inception to delivery. This comprises project research, concept design, facilitation, and delivery towards agreed deadlines. If required he can draw on a vast range of experts from different countries specialising in research area, language, or technical skills.

Most Recent Consultancy Work

At present Rolf is the "Specialist Consultant in Oral History Management" for the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) in Doha. He is also guest curator for non-European musical instruments at the Musical Instrument Museum Markneukirchen, Germany.

Until recently he was the Curator of Oral and Musical Cultures at the British Library - Qatar Foundation Partnership in London and the Curator for the Indian Music Experience (IME) in Bangalore, India.

He worked as a South Asia Consultant for the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) "the first truly global musical instrument museum" in Phoenix, Arizona (USA), where was is responsible for collection, research and documentation in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Recently he co-curated the exhibitions: 

          Indian Strings & Dances at the Museum of Croydon (April - August 2009)

          Utsavam - Music from India at the Horniman Museum, London (February - November 2008)

          British Library Sound Archive, Music from India (from April 2009) (provided text and music)

Rolf facilitated the documentation and construction of a Bhunga dessert farm, from the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, Western India on the premises of the anthropological Grassi Museum in Leipzig Germany.

curator & media producer at:       
The Indian Music Experience
IME - India's First Experiential Music Museum, Bangalore
IME Instruments                                                                                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                           cIME 2010-2011 

The Indian Music Experience (IME) - India's first experiential music museum - will be dedicated to exploring India's cultural nuances through it's music.

This unique museum aims to encourage a rediscovery of various genres of Indian music, from the traditional to the contemporary, to create a deeper bond with the music.

The IME will be housed in a 40,000 sq ft building, and will be located on a 2 acre property. Adjacent to the site for the IME is the MLR Convention Centre, which is fast emerging as a cultural hub of South Bangalore, with a host of arts events being organized regularly.

Rolf has been appointed as a Curator and Media Producer for the Indian Music Experience (IME) at Brigade - India's first experiential music museum in Bangalore.  In this role he is responsible for researching, populating  and curating the Indian musical instrument collection and will produce all the media files for the Indian Music Cultures exhibition.

Utsavam - Music from India at the Horniman Museum London

Utsavam: Music from India was a major exhibition that opened at the Horniman Museum, South London, and ran during 2008.

Taking its name from the ancient Sanskrit word 'Utsavam' meaning festivities and or celebration, Utsavam: Music  from India presented the subcontinent's rich musical heritage through music, film footage and musical instruments to provide a unique insight into traditional Indian music. It drew on extensive curatorial fieldwork from across rural regions of the suncontinent from Assam to Kerela by ethnomusicoligist and broadcaster Rolf Killius and curator Margaret Birley.


     Chenda Melam, Kerala                                                                     Monpa Singer

Indian Strings & Dances Exhibition: Croydon Museum - Clocktower 2009

Indian Strings and Dances - An interactive exhibition at the Croydon Museum Clocktower

by the Museum of Croydon and the London Sitar Ensemble which ran during 2009.


Bhunga Farmhouse Building at the Grassi Museum Leipzig

Bhunga Farmhouse Building
At the beginning of 2005 Rolf Killius spent two months in the Kutch District of the Indian state of Gujarat. On behalf of the Grassi Museum Leipzig in Germany, he conducted research on the construction of a traditional roundhouse a Bhunga made of clay and reed, to be constructed for the museum's new permanent  exhibition.

The Bhunga building, along with its farmyard, is intended to reflect the cultural, social, religious as well as the complicated ecological conditions in which its inhabitants live. Kutch shares a long border with Pakistan. Thus, over the centuries various sections of the population have mixed as people migrated to and from the area.

With the support of many local aides and the co-organiser Aarif Khatri, Rolf succeeded in engaging five Meghwar crafts people (2 women and 3 men) from the village of Hodka. In the summer of 2005 these people built a traditional Bhunga farm house and a roofed kitchen, along with complete interior and exterior decoration inside the ethnographic museum Leipzig.



Sora Cultural  Centre & Museum Project in Orissa (India)

At present Rolf Killius, in discussions with local NGOs and the management of Engineering College 'Centurion School of Rural Enterprise Management', is in the process of designing a cultural centre for the Sora Adivasi (original inhabitants of India) in southern Orissa. The proposed centre would comprise a museum (anthropological and musicological objects); performance space and study/research facilities, thus covering four areas: Exhibitions - Performances - Study - Research. Unlike other rural institutions this centre will feature state-of-the-art Multi-Media equipment, which will satisfy the aesthetic and professional needs of the centre's staff and visitors (especially young people).


Priestesses Sora

Soundscapes of India: Horniman Museum

This one day conference was organised by the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and the Horniman Museum.Stephen Cottrell and Tina K. Ramnarine for the Forum and Margaret Birley and Rolf Killius for the Horniman.It was held at the Horniman Museum's Education Centre on the 23rd of February 2008. The conference explored the diverse environments of musical performance in India and it's Diaspora, drawing attention to (1) the kinds of ethnomusicological research projects that have been pursued in these contexts an (2) cultural repositories and their impact on musical practices. It coincided with the Horniman Museum's "Utsavam - Music from India" exhibition (February - November 2008).

Contact Rolf:   rolfkillius 'at' yahoo.com