The ‘I’ in Research: On subjectivity and objectivity in practice and performance

by Erlend Hovland | Read Full Text


The vocal tutors by Swoboda and Rösner and their relevance for ornamentation in Schubert’s lieder

by Bernhard Rainer | Read Full Text

As music historiography has made evident, vocal performance practice of Schubert’s time differed substantially from the customs of conventional modern lied singing.

This study begins with biographical details on Anton Rösner and August Swoboda, whose works on vocal pedagogy can be described as relevant sources for contemporary performance practice due to their artistic proximity to Schubert’s circle of performers and the composer himself. Other relevant sources on ornamentation are then considered, before individual ornamental elements in Schubert’s lieder are examined in the light of these sources. Finally, portamento – a phenomenon mostly frowned upon today – is discussed, as it, too must undoubtedly have belonged to the practice of lied singing in Schubert’s time.

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A Cognitive Approach to Contemporary Fingerstyle Guitar Improvisation

by Gary Lutton | Read Full Text

This article explores a cognitive approach to contemporary fingerstyle guitar improvisation. This takes the form of a practical investigation into the development of the researcher’s own creative practice. It begins with a discussion on the cognitive processes of improvisation, highlighting theories which may have practical application. A method for developing improvisation skill is then devised based on the relevant cognitive theories. This is demonstrated using personal musical examples, documenting the progression of the researcher’s creative practice. Finally, two solo guitar improvisations are presented as articulations of the research outcomes. Full transcriptions and audio/video are provided.

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The Politics of Conducting

by Thomas R. Moore and Pascal Gielen | Read Full Text

In this article, we will observe at a micro level how specific values and value hierarchies influence performance practices and the social relationship between the conductor and musicians in new music ensembles. Our study is based on a context based score analysis of AMID (2004) by Simon Steen-Andersen (1976–), an in-depth interview with the composer, and a performance practice pragamaticaly developed in rehearsal and performances of AMID with an advanced student ensemble of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp. We will contribute to this relatively new direction using experimental artistic and sociological research.

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Strung Together: Realizing Music-Cultural Hybridity within a Limited Time Frame

by Richard Perks | Read Full Text

This article discusses the creative practice behind Strung Together, an intercultural collaboration combining three non-congruent improvisation-based musics. An account of my experience as ‘musical-facilitator’ is framed with reference to theoretical constructs of cultural integration, compositional practice and collaborative creativity. By focusing on the process (comprising rehearsals, continual dialogue, co-composition, and coalesced methods of improvisation) and the development of an innovative working methodology (using notated ‘starting points’, which often evolve into ‘collective backbones’), this practice-led case study demonstrates that by inaugurating a democratic environment – where manifold approaches to music-making are properly considered and respected at a structural level – music-cultural hybridity is achievable within a limited time frame. Through pre- and post-project reflection, this account posits the notion that music-cultural hybridity may assume and traverse various forms; and furthermore, these forms – termed here as ‘hybridity strains’ – are likely to be in constant flux throughout intercultural–improvisatory collaborations. Counterpart definitions from other disciplines have been modified to classify the various hybridity strains examined, which together form an analytical model and critical framework that may be applied by others to evaluate future creative works; and thus, contribute to the wider discourse surrounding hybridity.

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Postcards from Lockdown: Translating Visual Art to Music for Flute and Electronics

by Jean Penny | Read Full Text

During 2020 artists across the world re-positioned and re-assessed their work and lives from within the restrictive environment of the Covid-19 pandemic. Priorities and modi operandi shifted, dissemination methods were revised, and significant aesthetic changes evolved. This exposition describes one such scenario: a project involving intersemiotic translations of postcard-sized visual artworks hanging in the author’s home to music for flute and electronics. Practice and phenomenological enquiry converge, as the author/flautist investigates processes of sensation extraction, notation, instrumental and computer collaboration, and performance. A continuum of reflexive response underpins the project, revealing emerging awareness of new intersections and correspondences, artistic process, and resilience.

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Instrumental infrastructure, instrumental sculpture and instrumental scores: A post-instrumental practice

by Louise Devenish | Read Full Text

Over the past two decades, evolutions in musical practice has seen increasing diversification of the tools, medium and methods used in new western art music. A renewed focus on the integration of non-sonic materials not normally associated with music has emerged, with an emphasis on practices exploring how these materials are used in performance. Numerous musicians, reviewers, educators and scholars have attempted to describe and define these practices in writings, resulting in the emergence of new terminologies. This article identifies some key terminologies in current discourse, then discusses how words and language contribute to development of music practices. Trends in the integration of non-sonic materials are examined, including brief case studies of works exploring instrumental infrastructure, instrumental sculpture and instrumental scores.Finally, the notion of post-instrumental practice is proposed as a means to draw together some of the key themes and processes in current praxis.

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Reports and Commentaries

‘Music, Migration and Mobility’ – An ongoing Research Project at the Royal College of Music

by Norbert Meyn | Read Full Text

This article presents new artistic research aboutthe widerchallenges faced by classical musicians when performing and presenting works by migrant composers. The researchexploresin performance music by composers from Nazi Europe who emigrated to Britain in the 1930s. Inspired by the new ‘mobilities paradigm’ inthe humanities and diverging from established practices in relation to this repertoire, these performances aimed to foregroundthecomposer’smigrationsand mobilitiesrather than their national belongingsand persecutions. This article identifies challengesfaced by theauthor and fellowperformers and relates them to cross-disciplinary theory from migration studies, philosophy, mobility studies and musicology.It alsosynthesisesdata from interviews with participating musicians, audience questionnaires and personal reflections by the author in order to explore how musicians can enhance theirunderstanding and appreciation of music by migrants.

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Death in Bologna: An Essay on a Manifesto against Artistic Research

by Erlend Hovland | Read Full Text

Issue Editors

Dr. Anders Førisdal, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo
Christina Kobb, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo
Dr. Erlend Hovland, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo

ISSN 1893-9562