About this portal
Welcome to the online Research Catalogue of Codarts University of the Arts, Rotterdam.
The catalogue is an online forum for our Master of Music students to share and develop their artistic research with their coach and network, and to publish the final results.
contact person(s): Santiago Cimadevilla
, Christiaan van Hemert
Implementing Modern Production Techniques in a Live Music Context
author(s): Cristian-Stefan Prajescu
published in: Codarts
My motivation to start this research began with the following question I’ve asked myself: “When producing and performing my own music, will applying modern production techniques consciously influence my production skills and help me at the same time in a live performance situation?”
Given the advance of modern music production technology, the modern music producer can now use virtual instruments and automate audio effects such as delay or reverb to affect a sound at different stages throughout the arrangement, in order to achieve the desired musical expression. When we look at a live performance, we see one or more musicians playing and manipulating the sounds in real time, in order to deliver an inspiring and entertaining act.
Another question I’ve asked myself: “Is it possible to apply automation in a live context to enhance my performance and manipulate sounds heavily with audio effects in the arranging phase in order to create interesting sonic textures, from which the track and my live performance would become more entertaining?” At the beginning of my master studies my performances were flat and not entertaining, as they were featuring me as a performer struggling to switch between instruments during the performance. Throughout this research I have analysed in depth both conventional and non-conventional uses of these techniques, how other artists are implementing them into their music and live performances, and experimented with them in my own music, by using appropriate research strategies such as literature desk research, case studies and self critical practice. This methodology led me to find creative ways to enhance my production skills and make my performances more engaging and entertaining, and can also serve as inspiration for music producers and artists that would like to implement these modern production techniques into their own workflow and take advantage of them in their live performances.
UNVEILING THE FOLK DANCE IDENTITY OF CARL NIELSEN'S CLARINET CONCERTO OPUS 57: A FYNSKE MODERNIST STORYTELLING
author(s): Ettore Cauvin
published in: Codarts
Carl Nielsen's Clarinet Concerto Opus 57 is a work of a problematic nature for both performers and audiences, who always find it difficult to understand its rich yet intricate content. Despite copious written material, many interpretations are unfortunately significantly misleading because of the extreme technical difficulty of the music and the lack of information about the composer’s identity, especially concerning his production for clarinet and the distinct role of the instrument in Nielsen's life.
My research shows that the composer's roots, the development of his production and the uniqueness of Danish folklore and related dances uncover narrative levels which are fundamental to a correct reading, not only of this work but of Nielsen's music in general.
This study aims to create a multidisciplinary performance that combines the original score with dance and storytelling to enhance its peculiar characteristics, such as the bipolarity of characters and the intrinsic reminiscence of elements of Danish folklore within specific sections. Based on an extensive critical literature review and a fruitful expert consultation, I made analyses, charts and transcriptions, attaching explanatory video recordings as the basis of my work.
Thanks to my field research trip to Denmark, I started designing a new performance combining the folk-related investigation and the extra-musical elements linked to Nielsen’s identity, to both the musical interpretation and imaginative dance performance to show the bipolarity of characters as well as portray the inner storytelling.
The goal of my research here is not to demonstrate Carl Nielsen’s compositional willingness but to establish relations which can help the performer and the audience to connect the music to its vital folk heritage, extraordinary customised spirit and distinctiveness in both dance and storytelling.
The artistic result is, in fact, a new hybrid performance of the work which portrays the complex music more consciously and innovatively, combining an informed musical approach with an imaginative choreography and active interplay between the contrasting manic episodes and the homeward feeling of the heartening sections, letting the audience partake in the musical narration.
Despite the complex construction and demanding realisation of this kind of creative approach, I firmly believe that the result of this research makes an essential contribution to the understanding and interpretation not only of this work but of the music and identity of Carl Nielsen and the Danish musical tradition for the world of classical music and beyond.
Further research is needed to shed light on the relations between classical and folk music, within performing arts in general, to strengthen their essential role in today's society to make what is usually considered a niche more accessible to the public by exploiting its unique characteristics for a more sustainable artistic and social usefulness.
The music of speech: exploring the spoken voice as an artistic tool for composition and improvisation
author(s): Beatrice Milanese
published in: Codarts
The purpose of this research is to extend my performance as a jazz vocalist by including a previously unexplored element in my practice as a composer and vocalist: the spoken voice. After listening, transcribing and analyzing examples of spoken voice as they already existed in composed and improvised music, I undertook a vast series of quasi experiments and evaluated those in connection to the continuous feedback by my experts. By doing so, I got deeply informed about the consequences of including spoken voice techniques in my compositions and improvisations.
This Master Research project brought me to two main conclusions. The first conclusion is that implementing my speaking voice in my improvisations in a jazz context required the development of my own method, where the action of speaking is harmonically and rhythmically supported and enhanced by the action of extemporaneously playing the piano. The second conclusion I draw is that including the spoken voice in my compositions and improvisations required theatrical training in order to perform them convincingly.
A vast number of video files is added to this report to show the steps I took to result in my final outcome. This final artistic result is documented in the recorded video of my original composition “The Tell-Tale Heart” for voice, piano and contrabass clarinet. In this composition, my ultimate and highly individual application of the spoken voice both influenced the process of creation and shaped my way of performing the piece.
This research is supposed to resonate between singers, composers and musicians and encourage them to widen their compositional palette through including new unexplored elements, stretch the boundaries of their interpretational skills, experiment with crossovers between artforms in their music, develop their own improvisation methods. Finally, I would like to encourage jazz singers to go beyond the role that is unconsciously being given to them.
Mastering the art of taqsim solo improvisation on quarter tone and fretless guitar in the maqam tradition.
author(s): Jan Wouter Oostenrijk
published in: Codarts
As a young guitarist invited to join a Moroccan band, I discovered there are notes between the notes which weren’t playable on my instrument. That's how I developed an interest in North Africa and the Middle East. This also led me to Codarts 20 years later to study taqsim performances, which are considered the highest form of modal melodic improvisational art in the Arab culture.
The research allowed me to explore the beauty and richness of this music, and look beyond the equally tempered Western tonal system into the world of Maqam playing.
I transcribed and analysed taqsim recordings of the masters, studied maqam literature and scores of traditional compositions based on maqam repertoire. I used the Arabic 24-tone system and the Turkish comma system (Pythagorean tuning) as theoretical references. By taking ud classes I practiced intonation, phrasing and ornaments that I applied on fretless guitar and quarter tone guitar.
Outcome: In addition to my educational background in classical and jazz music where improvisation is often more vertically related to harmonic progressions, the maqam system provides a tool for horizontal modal melodic developments. A way to shape coherent storylines (sayr) with the use of authentic microtonal tetra-chords such as rast, bayat and hijaz, tonicization of scale degrees, sequences and movable pitches that build tension and change modal gravity. The musical embodiment hereof is found in taqsim solo improvisation performances.
From the pit to the stage: a comparative approach to solo bass playing
author(s): Felipe Devincenzi
published in: Codarts
This research attempts to translate technical skills and notions from lyrical singing to double bass playing. Based on the Donizetti-Bottesini partnership, the idea was highly influenced by translation concepts developed by theorists Ricardo Piglia and Walter Benjamin. Research strategies include expert feedback, side by side work with tenors, experimental practice and extensive recording analysis on selected repertoire. Together, they outline a basic strategy that enriches solo performance. Conclusions could be applied to any similar repertoire by any other performer who reads this report.
The art of chopping
author(s): Pablo Rodriguez Gonzalez
published in: Codarts
Traditionally, the violin is seen as a melodic solo instrument and on rare occasions it assumes rhythm and harmony as a principal function, as in the case of, for example, a second violin in a string quartet or an orchestra. When I started to play the guitar eight years ago, it fuelled my interest into how I could possibly translate the feeling of being a guitarist or percussionist into that of a fiddle player. Immediately after this I discovered Turtle Island String Quartet, a classical string ensemble specializing in modern styles such as jazz, rock and funk. In their performances they made use of advanced percussive bow techniques, commonly called “chopping” or “chop”.
Upon starting my master studies, my main teacher, Christiaan Van Hemert advised me to check fiddler Casey Driessen (1978, Owatonna, Minnesota, United States). He is an American bluegrass fiddler and singer who has performed with many well-known artists such as Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Steve Earle, Tim O'Brien and Darol Anger. His use of advanced percussive bow techniques (chop) was outstanding. It made me realize that it was possible to use the violin as a groove-rhythm instrument.
ARTISTIC RESEARCH QUESTION
How could I expand my knowledge and use of percussive-bowing techniques used by fiddler Casey Driessen through the analysis of his music, and the translation of vocabulary from the flamenco cajón, so that I could incorporate them into my solo compositions and rhythmical improvisations?