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distinct intrinsic and extra-musical elements that help to create a typology of religiously inspired jazz, grounded in historical reference works.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
This research was conducted to reveal a deeper understanding of my artistic practice that moves in between redefining my urban dance practice and an opening to ideas of contemporary choreography.
Based on studio sessions, interviews and reflections and using a variety of modalities for documentation, this practice-led research expands my artistic practice, bringing in sources of inspiration from dance, pedagogy, sociology and philosophy.
The main outcomes channeled into an emerging methodology that provides strategies to develop co-creative contemporary choreography.
This methodology can serve diverse creative contexts that foster the wish to collaborate and be imaginative.
Embedded in an upcoming artistic community of urban dance based choreographers this research seeks to define my space within the landscape of contemporary choreography.
Words in Motion is a practice as research project that involves dance, choreography, and literature. The research will consist in three choreographic experimentations in which text will be approached as the starting point to create movement. Each experimentation will involve the creation of a solo piece utilising a different element of the selected text, Caged Bird (1983) by Maya Angelou, which will be unpacked from the perspective of semiotics. The aim of the project is to analyse and compare the experience of creating the three pieces as well as the choreographic results obtained in the three different experimentations.
Process of a workshop organized by Aalto ARTS, Experimental Scenography Workshop that explores the Peripheries in Parallax. This exposition is based on an artistic research that was done between 05.10.2020-10.04.2021.
Including process ideas, photos and final exhibition, Matter.
Peripheries in Parallax: BRAVE NEW PERIPHERIES is organised by the four-year “Floating Peripheries – mediating the sense of place” artistic research project funded by the Academy of Finland (2017–2021).
Read more on https://pinp2021.aalto.fi/
In this exposition I reflect on an artistic research project I conducted from fall 2020 through spring 2021, as a student of scenography in Aalto University.
The base for the artistic research project was the idea of corporality, touch, flesh, materiality and aesthetics as something excessive and peripheral in the context of the Aalto University campus. I explored bodily excesses by working with sculptural objects formed by bodycasting, a method that produces a surplus of bodyparts. I was also interested in the process of working with my hands, and working through touching and being with the sculptural objects and materials.
As the process evolved the questions came to circulate around the issues of knowledge and the unknown. What kind of knowledge can working with these objects and materials lead me toward? Can that knowledge be articulated into language? How to work with things that language doesn't reach?
The research project was executed aside the peripheries in parallax: BRAVE NEW PERIPHERIES -conference organised by the four-year “Floating Peripheries – mediating the sense of place” artistic research project.
Taiteellisen tutkimukseni kohteena on ollut kehollinen toisin toimiminen julkisissa tiloissa. Olen havainnoinut tanssin ja kosketuksen aiheuttamia muutoksia julkisissa tiloissa sekä tilan kokemuksen muovautumista tanssivassa kehossa.
Koronaepidemia on vaikuttanut olennaisesti tutkimuskysymyksiini sekä käyttämiini tutkimusmenetelmiin, sillä toisten kanssa fyysisesti kosketuksissa oleminen on tänä vuonna tuntunut äärimmäisen tärkeältä, mutta myös radikaalilta teolta.