This master's thesis explores the augmentation of the bandoneon, an iconic Argentine instrument traditionally associated with tango music, through the integration of live electronics and extended performance techniques. The research delves into the development of a unique system that enables real-time interaction between the performer and the electronics, transforming the bandoneon into a dynamic and expressive instrument. The study investigates the implications of this augmented approach on musical expression, embodiment, and the relationship between the performer and the instrument. Through a series of performances, including collaborations with other musicians and participation in festivals, the thesis examines the practical application and reception of the augmented bandoneon in diverse contexts. The findings contribute to the discourse on the intersection of traditional instruments, technology, and contemporary musical practices, offering insights into the possibilities and challenges of augmenting a culturally significant instrument like the bandoneon.
On July the 4th 2023, the Nodos Activos Teams was invited to participate in an event named ‘Las Julias’ as organized by the School of Performative Arts (Escuela de Artes Escénicas) from the Universidad Nacional. An event that allows researchers from the aforementioned school to show the academic community of UNA their ongoing or concluded research experiences. Typically, participants are students and academics from the Performative Arts disciplines. However, Nodos Activos combines an interdisciplinary team of students and academics from Design, Visual Arts and Performative Arts, and its products reflect that heterogeneity.
Thus, the activity was planned as a means to allow Performative Arts students and academics to exit their comfort zones, and explore the research and creation methods, tools and concepts of the visual arts and design fields in a ‘hands on’ activity developed through an active concept of playfulness and abstract thinking-and-doing.
Exposition of PhD research for PhD fellow at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Academy of Opera, Kristin Norderval.
This artistic research project examines the artistic, technical, and pedagogical challenges of developing a performer-controlled interactive technology for real-time vocal processing of the operatic voice. As a classically trained singer-composer, I have explored ways to merge the compositional aspects of transforming electronic sound with the performative aspects of embodied singing.
I set out to design, develop, and test a prototype for an interactive vocal processing system using sampling and audio processing methods. The aim was to foreground and accommodate an unamplified operatic voice interacting with the room's acoustics and the extended disembodied voices of the same performer. The iterative prototyping explored the
performer's relationship to the acoustic space, the relationship between the embodied acoustic voice and disembodied processed voice(s), and the relationship to memory and time.
One of the core challenges was to design a system that would accommodate mobility and allow interaction based on auditory and haptic cues rather than visual. In other words, a system allowing the singer to control their sonic output without standing behind a laptop. I wished to highlight and amplify the performer's agency with a system that would enable nuanced and variable vocal processing, be robust, teachable, and suitable for use in various settings: solo performances, various types and sizes of ensembles, and opera. This entailed mediating different needs, training, and working methods of both electronic music and opera practitioners.
One key finding was that even simple audio processing could achieve complex musical results. The audio processes used were primarily combinations of feedback and delay lines. However, performers could get complex musical results quickly through continuous gestural control and the ability to route signals to four channels. This complexity sometimes led to surprising results, eliciting improvisatory responses also from singers without musical improvisation experience.
The project has resulted in numerous vocal solo, chamber, and operatic performances in Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United States. The research contributes to developing emerging technologies for live electronic vocal processing in opera, developing the improvisational performance skills needed to engage with those technologies, and exploring alternatives for sound diffusion conducive to working with unamplified operatic voices.
This artistic research explores the relations between human and instrumental voice (in the case of string instruments), seen from an embodied and performative point of view. The question originates from from my experience of violinist and composer.
Voice is a unique mark of human identity: if this is particularly true for vocal timbre, something similar is at play in the ‘instrumental voice’, as a unique expression of personal and musical identity. This research aims to uncover the importance of the vocal and instrumental relations, acknowledging their common embodied nature and shared origins. As utterances directed at the ‘other’, both human and instrumental voice are deeply relational.
From 2016 to 2022, I investigated the question of voicelikeness between a musician’s voice and their own instrument through five multidisciplinary art projects: in Imaginary Spaces fragments of individual and collective voice inhabited a performative environment shared by musicians and audience; The end of no ending focused on the relationships between two female voices and their mutable surroundings; Between word and life explored the multiple relations of voice and instrument in an electroacoustic space, de-multiplied by bringing in dance and video; Sounding Bodies gathered human and mechanical bodies to explore an unconventional space, inviting the audience to follow their path; Medusa was a music theatre work putting into perspective the question of voicelikeness by evoking Italian Early Baroque music, visual art, and dance.
This artistic research was carried out through an artistic process, with supporting methods such as grounded theory, ethnography, and autoethnography, creating a virtuous cycle between practice and theory, with some interesting and unexpected changes taking place in my artistic journey. The research outcomes consist of a written part combined with a collection of traces, sounds, images, and video examples presented on the Research Catalogue.
The theoretical framework for this inquiry includes recent studies in paleoanthropology, human development, music psychology, and embodiment. Cavarero’s philosophy of voice, Arendt’s philosophy of the ‘in-between’, various philosophies of the ‘other’, as well as a few contributions from psychoanalysis are put in mutual dialogue with my artistic practice.
Among the research outcomes are the re-evaluation of vocal layers in personal and musical identity, considering music making as a relational practice, and an exploration of the porous boundaries between the roles of composer, performer, and listener. In this perspective, the new terms to ‘in-hear’ and to ‘co-hear’ respectively denote an attention to inner sounds, and toward one another in a community of listeners.
Keywords: voicelikeness, artistic research, in-between, relationality, embodiment, performative space
Conversations with dance knowledge” is a development work by Chrysa Parkinson, Professor of Dance, and Frank Bock, Senior Lecturer in Choreography, and Andrew Hardwidge.
The research is a conversation format that prioritizes movement between textures, atmospheres, qualities, and metaphors to express meaning and knowledge. By balancing somatic experience and language-based exchanges the research prioritizes nuances that emerge between people, places and things in activated space and time. The research is experimenting with question formation, spatial contexts and using simple materials in conversation. The process is documented by objects, texts, drawings, and audio files.
The aim of the research has been to develop research methods that can emphasize the authorship, materials and processes of dance and dancers within social and aesthetic discourses of dance and art practices and have direct applications in teaching processes.