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Ornamentation in the Shadows of Death : a Vigil - Performance Ritual).
Elisabeth Laasonen Belgrano, Mark Douglas Edmund Price
Even with a healthy suspicion of 'cultural universals', there is a notable ubiquity to the relation between song and death. Peoples seemingly unconnected as the Plains Nations of North America, the Urubu Indians of Brazil, Japanese Zen Buddhists, and the Irish Celts have deep traditions relating voice and Death. The most obvious basis of this association may be the shared physiological phenomena of 'the breath leaving the body' – a process necessary to life when accompanied by breathing in again – but which also marks 'the end of a life'. Taking the popular Greco-Roman myths of the nightingale as a starting point or our performance, we are to engage an audience in an exploration of the aesthetics of the Death-Song.
As those familiar with end-of life situations know, encounters between life and death are not always occasions of silence: there may be tears, cries, raving, even laughter. Such expressions may be part of 'a good death'. What is certain is that even with the utmost fore-knowledge and preparation the reactions to death are unpredictable. The medieval ars moriendi pamphlets were helpful but necessarily incomplete for the same reasons that the contemporary 'professionalisation' of end-of-life care can never be adequately codified. Living and dying are arts requiring ornamentation and improvisation.
Our ideas for a vigil-performance ritual emerged via a series of dialogues and improvisations starting in the fall of 2019. An 'ornament' in the musical sense, the research is shaped by personal closeness to Death; by an exploration of Nothingness; by the uncertain landscapes between living and dying; by an exploration of the borders of the real and unreal. It is a conversation between two performance philosophers: a singer, and a poet; between music and word. The only axiom we accept in the research is that living and dying are not antithetical but rather mutually implicative.
Given the complexity of the material and the historical trajectory we wish to pursue from the early Renaissance to the present day, the performance will necessarily be a demanding one. If the audience is willing we would present the material as a far-from-silent vigil structured around a song or poem at each hour, beginning at sunset. There would follow a reflection and discussion period, then a short break before the next piece, and so on until sunrise. Needless to say the dialogic and improvisational content of the material will bend this framework as the ideas and performances find their own lives and deaths.
Silence surrounds us, and silence around us
What does silence mean to us now? The silence surrounds us with sound phenomena. We recognise the silence in our living space through hearing. We silently recognise its subjectivity and objectivity day by day. Silence can give us many different meanings, such as distance, coldness, or loneliness. The research question as the starting point for this artistic research is, "What can we see around us in this silence? ". This research question focuses on common sense and the habits of contemporary life. If creativity helps us, how far is the change necessary in the research context of a common space?
Through Segments — Durchlässige Segmente
Hanns Holger Rutz, David Pirrò, Ji Youn Kang, Daniele Pozzi
Through Segments is a sound installation in an unusual interstitial space—the staircase of the Kunsthaus’ Iron House that connects to the “Friendly Alien”. Four artists listen into the storeys using real-time computer algorithms, taking an acoustical image of the visitors’ movements, forming four individual reactions. It is a poetic attempt to think about the distributed, the fragmented, the parallel. During the development phase, the artists work independently, but at the same time they observe and interrogate each other, performing the gesture of a “simultaneous arrival” (Sara Ahmed). They enact a human algorithm, informed by reiteration and duplication but never being identical. The aim is not one “of all converging towards the same, but circulating, making common relaying, relaying back, being relayed” (Isabelle Stengers).
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Journal of Sonic Studies
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Crisis Collective - main exposition
Deniz Peters, Anne-Helen Mydland, Jonas Howden Sjøvaag
Lost Conference 2020... ...Relic Site 2021
The Crisis Collective! 11th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research, Bergen 2020 was set to become a milestone effort and presentation of artistic research on the current societal challenges. In a twist of fate, it had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Cancellation is an anti-event: it creates absence.
This exposition is published in the state it was presented at the SAR conference Care Dare Share, in 2021. A revised edition, that will be updated every 6 months, will be available on the RC platform.
Jazz in Worship and Worship in Jazz
Jazz in Worship and Worship in Jazz
The musical language of Liturgical, Sacred, and Spiritual Jazz in a postsecular Age.
The aim of this dissertation is to identify musical elements that contribute to the generation of religious meaning in jazz performance and to explore how religious experience can inspire jazz composition.
In this study, the history of jazz, specifically tailored to the aspects of my inquiry is imbricated with relevant theories and musical interventions from my own artistic practice in composition and performance. In addition to artistic research through my own practice as a performer and composer, the transdisciplinary fields of musicology, music theory, neurology, history of religion, and theology provides further critical tiles in the knowledge-mosaic constructed by this study.
Using my own artistic practice as my primary research method, my thesis investigates distinct intrinsic and extra-musical elements that help to create a typology of religiously inspired jazz, grounded in historical reference works. Twenty-five of my own compositions following this typology are submitted with this thesis and are analyzed in the three main chapters.
The final chapter (Imagine) summarizes conclusions of the main chapters and includes a brief evaluation of the research process. Conclusions from the thesis include (i) defining six distinct ways of expressing religious belief in jazz, (ii) demonstrating that the extrinsic meaning of religiously inspired jazz changes when placed within a liturgical dramaturgy, and (iii) generating new postsecular perspectives on jazz. Another concrete result of this thesis involves revisiting George Russell´s Lydian Chromatic Concept as a basis for my own compositions. The practice-based adaption and exploration of Russell´s theory opens new ways of understanding how his musical philosophy builds a bridge between Western classical sacred music and jazz. Finally, this thesis also raises new areas for further research such as microtonal and twelve-tone tonality in jazz, temporal concepts in jazz composition and improvisation, and the embodiment of Christian faith through music as an extension of the institutional church in society.
Keywords: jazz and religion, jazz liturgies, George Russell, Spiritual Jazz, Sacred Jazz, Liturgical Jazz, postsecularity in the arts, twelve-tone tonality in jazz