(last edited: 2018)
author(s): Carlos Roos, ACPAThis exposition is in progress and its share status is: visible to all.
First season of the art_research_convergence project. It comprises 6 ARC nights, starting June 2018. Exhibitions, performances, installations and lectures. Work in progress and finished work in need of feedback.
The starting point of Carolien Hermans' research is how both children's physical play and dance improvisation by professionals can be considered somatic practices where sense-making manifests itself in and between bodies, and through movement. Hermans makes use of the concept of ‘participatory sense-making’ (De Jaegher & Di Paolo, 2007) to understand the role of movement, and the lived experience, in the way we make sense of self, others and world. This philosophical-scientific premise is closely aligned with enactivism, a movement in cognitive science that claims that cognition is not so much an internal, mental phenomenon as it is the result of the dynamic relationship between an organism and its environment. Enactivism offers an alternative to traditional models that conceive of cognition as an internal information-processing process in which perception and action serve primarily as inputs and outputs. Body, context, and (the lived) experience thus play a crucial role in the sense-making process.
This research of Maya Rasker in only available in Dutch. The English version will be ready later in 2023.
The position of writing within the domain of artistic academic research is not self-evident. In academia, standard practice is to use writing for the transfer of knowledge: it is a means of communication. In the practice of (nonlinguistic) artistic research, the outcome is also often contextualized in a written argument. This leads to the paradox that, if writing as an art form is to be relevant in and for artistic academic research, it must relate discursively to itself in its own medium in order to achieve that relevance. This paradox has been embraced in this dissertation and research.'Word and Whetstone. Perspectives on writing at the intersection of art and academia' is the outcome of inquiry into the epistemological possibilities and characteristics of writing. The question is whether and how writing as a communication vehicle and as an art form can also serve as a knowledge generator. To investigate this, the practice of writing is thought of as an experimental system, analogous to the scientific experiment. Processes of narrating and annotating generate a dialogical encounter for new insights as well as providing a structure. The material is both the object of research and method.
This study of Alessandro Colizzi examines Bruno Munari's work as a graphic designer from the late 1920s to mid-1940s, with the aim of understanding the emergence and characteristics of the modernist trend in Italian graphic design. Taking shape in Milan, an original 'design culture' eclectically brought together two quite different strains of Modernity: a local tradition represented by the Futurist avant-garde, and a European tradition associated with Constructivism. Munari (1907- 1998) worked simultaneously as painter and as advertising designer. Concentrating on Munari's stylistic development, the study seeks to explore the interaction between the Futurist visual vocabulary and conceptions coming from architecture, photography, abstract painting, and functionalist typography that trickled in from central and northern Europe. The discussion positions the designer in his time and place, concentrating as much on the artefacts as on the broader cultural framework. Secondly, the study attempts to assess Munari's reputation against a body of exemplary work, based on firsthand documentation. It is the first extensive, detailed record of Munari's graphic design output, and as such provides a substantial base for a full understanding of his œuvre.
What is the cost of visual complexity? This dissertation of Nadine Chahine sets out to determine the effect of the complexity of word formation on the legibility of Arabic and the role that vocalization plays in reading. This is carried out via a holistic approach to legibility research that combines the visual culture with eye movement in reading and legibility studies. To do this it looks at the transition of Arabic manuscript letterforms into typographic ones, the anatomy of the Arabic script, and the predominant typographic styles in use today. It presents the design process of the specially designed Afandem typeface family, a review of eye movement findings, and a new definition of legibility that is rooted in the models of eye movement. The experiment used eye tracking to test 72 subjects in Beirut to determine the effect of the complexity and vocalization on reading measures. The results show that the increased complexity of word formation has a negative effect on the legibility of Arabic typefaces and that the short vowels add a cost to word processing even though they bring with them extra clarity that results in a reduced number of regressions. These results are discussed within the scope of the Arab world today, its cultural and educational setup, and avenues for further research are explored.
The thesis, written by Henk Borgdorff, is about artistic research – what it is, or what it could be. And it is about the place that artistic research could have in academia, within the whole of academic research. It is also about the ways we speak about such issues, and about how the things we say (in this study and elsewhere) cause the practices involved to manifest themselves in specific ways, while also setting them into motion. In this sense, the thesis not only explores the phenomenon of artistic research in relation to academia, but it also engages with that relationship. This performative dimension of the thesis is interwoven with its constative and interpretive dimensions. If the thesis succeeds in its aims, it will not only advance knowledge and understanding of artistic research, but it will further the development of this emerging field.
Due to the low quality level of visual input they receive in the form of printed text, beginning visually impaired readers are at a disadvantage in comparison to their peers. In the past, typography has often been looked upon as a useful instrument to improve the legibility of the printed reading material that is being offered to children with low vision. However, the legiblity research efforts that were at the base of this conception were not always of good quality. In cognitive science for example, many efforts were made that were methodologically correct, yet the test material (the used typefaces) had little to do with reality. Many typefaces that were supposed to improve legibility were also suggested by typographers themselves, but the reasoning behind them was hardly ever sufficiently methodologically supported. Moreover, most legibility research focused on people with low vision in general, ignoring the fac t that visually impaired children constitute a very particular group with specific issues. This doctoral research project by in design, by Ann Bessemans, seeks to shed a light on legibility in the context of visually impaired beginning readers. Starting from these findings and from a legibility research a first step is given to design a typeface that will be able to provide support for the target group of visually impaired children in the first stages of the reading process.
This research of Gerard Unger is only available in Dutch.
De kern hiervan is een letterontwerp, gebaseerd op de combinatie van een middeleeuws en een hedendaags concept. Het middeleeuwse deel betreft de elfde en de twaalfde eeuw, de romaanse periode, en in het bijzonder de epigrafie van die tijd: romaanse kapitalen in inscripties. Deze kapitalen werden gedurende tweehonderd jaar in een groot deel van Europa toegepast. Hiernaast zijn velerlei typografische en culturele ontwikkelingen in de twintigste en de eenentwintigste eeuw de bron voor het nieuwe letterontwerp. De Alverata toont enkele middeleeuwse kenmerken die wonderwel met de modernste typografische software en voor hedendaags gebruik is toe te passen. Bovendien kan de Alverata het uitgangspunt zijn voor vernieuwend leesbaarheidsonderzoek.
Although the guitar has been part of the classical music tradition for centuries, writing for the guitar remains a formidable challenge for many composers. Where orchestral instruments have a long history of scoring guides that help composers develop their craft, the number of studies dedicated to guitar scoring remains scarce. This has led to a myriad of scoring problems in guitar works written by non-guitarist composers, often evidenced in unplayable passages and underdeveloped textures. The present study of Marlon Titre aims to fill this gap by establishing and developing guidelines for effective use of the classical guitar__s scoring potential. These guidelines are described through the sound-cell-texture chain, a model introduced in this study that identifies building blocks for guitar scoring that are believed to give the composer access to the scoring potential for the guitar. The second aim of this study is to use the findings of the research to compose a set of new guitar etudes.
Performances of solo keyboard repertoire can sound more or less polyphonic depending on the performer’s use of divergence in expression. Rather than being a purely cerebral experience, this expressive divergence is situated in an ecological relationship between keyboard and player where the gestural dynamics of technique and musicianship overlap. Specific body schemata relating to expressive divergence are therefore foundational to the interpretive freedom of the performer in creating polyphonic expression, and feature transparently in the musical result. This dissertation of Andrew Wright
theorises expressive divergence by examining the embodiment of single voices through the hierarchical structuring of coarticulation, and by showing how these multi-layered gestures combine in the polyphony of expression. This performative view of polyphony is contextualised not only in musical practice, but also in the wider interdisciplinary use of polyphony as a metaphor. Single-player polyphonic expression is shown to enact or demonstrate an inner experience of the plurality of subjective agency, an experience made possible by its embodied dimension. Besides verbalising and theorising polyphonic expression, this dissertation provides experiments and exercises useful for developing such a practice, as well as examples of its application in concert.
Calypso, Identity and Social Influence, The Trinidadian Experience seeks to establish links between calypso music and the construction and maintenance of identities, and to locate the genre as a mechanism or as part of a mechanism that has exerted on-going social influence within Trinidadian society. It chronicles the evolution of calypso music from its emergence in Trinidad, and highlights contingent institutions, peculiar traditions, and salient events that have shaped the socio-political and cultural landscape there during the Colonial and Post-Colonial periods. The study, undertaken by Clarence Charles, is descriptive and explorative, and follows an interdisciplinary route that integrates historical fact, socio-anthropological philosophy, psychological, musicological, and ethnomusicological thought, and notes from my own ethnographic research. It analyses a large corpus of written material, and audio/visual recordings of music performance and participation in calypso and carnival-related events by practitioners and audiences alike.
This research of Jaap Brouwer is only available in Dutch
In deze studie staan twee onderzoeksvragen centraal. De eerste betreft de vraag naar de kwaliteit van de orgeladviezen uit de jaren dertig van de vorige eeuw en de invloed daarvan op de orgelbouw uit die tijd; de tweede betreft de vraag naar het belang van de dispositieverzameling van Johan van Meurs.
So-called "extended techniques" have suffered a consistent lack of understanding from a theoretical, historical and practical point of view. Although most of them __ e.g. playing directly on the strings, cluster- and glissando-techniques __ exist in a substantial part of the repertoire for the piano and have done so for more than a couple of centuries now, the use of the techniques on stage still sparks off negative reactions by audiences, composers, performers and tuners as well as owners of pianos. Any one-sided approach towards appreciation has proven to be inadequate: academic analyses do not succeed in handling the matter satisfactorily, endeavors by musicians to teach and advise on the "proper" use of the techniques have come short of applying an in-depth and a historically informed perspective. A comprehensive and exhaustive survey of the extended techniques as a whole can serve to alleviate the risk that the relevant repertoire sinks into oblivion, contributing to a reassessment of the subject, in turn benefitting contemporary professional performance practice, concert programming, composers__ interest and musical as well as music-historical education. The subject and its related terminology are scrutinized and (re)defined where necessary. The acoustical properties of the techniques are explained from the perspective of the performer to ensure proper insight in the way they produce sound. Over 16.000 compositions have been considered to write the history of improper piano playing, comparing manuscripts with first and subsequent editions of solo as well as chamber and concerto music, original compositions as well as transcriptions, from the "classical" as well as the "entertainment" sector. Original preparations collected by John Cage were tracked down and described in minute detail so that alternatives can be considered on the basis of professional information. Historical recordings as well as personal experiences and interviews with composers are used to pinpoint historical performance practices. To help the pianist prepare for concerts with the relevant repertoire, measurements of the internal layout of the most common grand pianos are listed in order to anticipate possible problems in advance.
Author: Luk Vaes
The results presented in this dissertation, written by Kathryn Cok, demonstrate the generous contribution that the Dutch Republic has made to the genre of basso continuo, including a survey of twenty-six Dutch sources from the 17th and 18th centuries. Focus has been made on the written record of the practice in the Dutch Republic of the time, including method books, music books where mention is made of basso continuo, dictionaries with detailed descriptions of the practice, and translated foreign treatises, all helping to paint a picture of how the practice was put into effect. Special attention has been given to a relatively unknown manuscript by Jan Alensoon.
The subject of the research of Wim Kok is __difference and repetition,__ an area which bears a direct relationship to Wjm Kok__s practice, in which the production of work always emerges and passes through series. It is also the title of a book by Gilles Deleuze that has been used as source and reference to explicate the research. Taking this book Difference and Repetition as a departure point, an ongoing series of writings was produced that sought to expose the different angles of the subject. The majority of these texts were published in diverse platforms, constituting an exchange with related subjects and his practice as a foundation for exploring other territories. A selected collection of these texts constitutes the dissertation. The presentation of this research will take place during the defense in the Grand Auditorium of Leiden University.
This book is witness to Hendrik Vanden Abeele__s research into the development, construction and creation of a present-day performance practice of late medieval plainchant, based partly on his work with the Belgian chant group Psallentes. The study focuses on sometimes very specific aspects of the performance of plainchant, relating to a rich and diverse body of chant manuscripts. Meanwhile, the constantly recurring personal storytelling draws a picture of research-acts as ingrained characteristics of the every day activities of a musician. The many challenges and obstacles faced when performing plainchant may turn into opportunities, where the performer fills in the blanks with ideas, colours and textures. He may even be tempted to draw outside the lines, countering any practical or historical constraints in a creative way.
Despite most pianists' claims of historical deference and creative agency, their performances of Brahms's piano works are nothing like the early-recorded performances of the composer and his students: gaps that are mediated by understandings of Brahms's Classical canonic identity, the performance norms that protect that identity, and those norms' underlying aesthetic ideology of control. This predication of Brahmsian identity on restraint leaves the composer and his students in a precarious situation, as their recordings evidence an approach that is governed by the inhibitions typically associated with Romanticism. This volume, by Anna Scott, seeks to problematize understandings of Brahms's identity: by investigating the origins and vestiges of the aesthetic ideology of control; by analysing and copying the recordings of pianists in the composer's inner circle; and by applying these pianists' styles in ways that are just as disruptive to modern notions of Brahmsian identity as their early-recorded models. In so doing, a thoroughly Romantic performance style emerges that catalyses a fundamental shift in understanding as related to Brahms's identity; thereby opening up a new palette of expressive and technical resources, and both elucidating and narrowing persistent gaps between modern and early-recorded Brahms style, as well as between what performers believe, know, and ultimately do.
The performance practice of Italian instrumental music in relation to vocal music and text: Sources and their modern realization. In my work I, Claire Genewein, have shown that in the second half of the 18th century in Italy, one prepared instrumental music for performance with the help of texts. Central to this work is a treatise by Benvenuto Robbio Conte di San Raffaele stemming from the circle around Giuseppe Tartini which demonstrates the various steps of learning instrumental music through text underlay. Based on this, I could show how in various genres (solfeggi, recitatives, arias) numerous composers (Domenico Corri, Francesco Geminiani, Guiseppe Tartini) used texts and singing in preparing instrumental music for performance. The influence of this sort of “vocal” preparation on the interpretation of instrumental music has proved itself to be very fruitful in my own playing as well as in my work with students.
While preparing for a concert in 2014, I, Maria Cleary, found certain passages impossible to play in Louis Spohr’s Opp. 115 and 118. I consulted Backofen’s methods for harp, where I knew that he had written about double-pedalling.
I explored all aspects of pedalling on the single-action harp. The research extended across five historical areas of research: treatises and methods, musical sources where a special solution is written by the composer/publisher, scores with no instructions but where multi-pedalling is implied by the music, historical shoes, and finally images of harpists pedalling.
To play Spohr’s music, the harpist uses the heel and toe independently and over thirty-seven complex moves are part of his music. When a pedal is folded or unfolded during a piece, Spohr writes at least one bar’s rest for the harpist.
Historical pedalling employs the whole foot, completely off the floor, where most pedals are not fixed. Pedals were moved at the moment where an accidental is written in the music and then released. Pedal markings are unnecessary, as pedalling becomes an inherent part of the musical gesture. The physicality of pedalling creates tensions and resolutions that mirror the musical line.
This PhD-research by Frank Blokland is conducted to test the hypothesis that Gutenberg and consorts developed a standardised and even unitised system for the production of textura type, and that this system was extrapolated for the production of roman type in Renaissance Italy.
For roman type, Humanistic handwriting was moulded into a preﬁxed standardised system already developed for the production of gothic type. This was possible because there is an intrinsic morphological relationship between the structures of the written textura quadrata and the Humanistic minuscule.
Renaissance typographic patterning was in part determined by prerequisites for the production of type. The typographic conventions are not purely the result of optical preferences predating the invention of movable type but are also the result of the standardisation of characters in the Renaissance type production. By mapping the underlying harmonic and rhythmic aspects, we gain more insight into what exactly the creative process in type design comprises, and what its constraints are. Furthermore, it makes the parameterisation of digital type-design processes possible.
In art history, performance is categorized as performance art and defined as live-act. However, performance is no longer conceived of by artists as live-act only. Rather, the art of producing performances, according to artists, also includes considerations of their documentation and mediatization. In these contexts a paratextual perspective would enable considering documentation practices as part of performance art, which would also mean to acknowledge that performance is a practice associated with other practices that go beyond the enactment or staging which precedes or follows it. It is my claim that the potential of performance in visual art lies exactly in this ability to divest itself of a stable medial identity. This is to say that performance does not only have the practical need, but also the general potential to connect itself with other media, such as texts and audiovisual records. I think that contemporary performances in visual art cannot be viewed as distinct from the intermedial and paratextual issues with which they are connected. They engage, intermingle and enter into reciprocal relationships with these issues. So, I propose to understand performances in and through their relations to texts.
Research by Lilo Nein
The present dissertation revolves around popular music as a global phenomenon. The research focuses on the form and meaning of its musical structures and their rapport with everyday experience1 at the dawn of the 21st century. In what follows, I argue that the ontological key to popular music lies in the dialectic between formal attributes and societal dynamics, between musical text and cultural context. To that end, this inquiry unfolds at the intersection of cultural musicology and media studies.
Research by Carlos Roos
Playing a musical instrument is generally considered to be a complex human behaviour involving the integration and coordination of a broad range of human functions such as perception, imagination, memory, information processing, emotion, communication, and dexterity. From this perspective, it seems only reasonable to assume that, in an age of informational and communicational abundance, this intrinsic multifacetedness manifests itself in numerous informational contact-points between musical practice and a variety of academic and para-academic fields which zoom in on these specific elements of musical activity. Joost Vanmaele’s dissertation is directed at carefully and systematically evaluating the position of musicianship in an age of informative abundance and connectedness, to consider ways of re-balancing and broadening its epistemic grounds and attuning its information systems, with a view to artistic development, enrichment and/or liberation. By proposing a Bio-Culturally informed Performers’ Practice of Western Art Music [BCiPP], an information- and dialogue-friendly, transdisciplinary space is created where musical activities are not considered as phenomena sui generis but rather as informable cultural instances or personal particularisations of the human capacity to meaningfully generate and react to temporally patterned sounds. The potential impact of BCiPP is put to the test in two case-studies.
“La Cetra Cornuta : the Horned Lyre of the Christian World ”A musical instrument of substantial importance in the history of Christianity, specifically during the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods in Italy, the cetra was the forerunner of the stringed instrument known in English since the 16th-c. as “cittern”.This study of Crawford Young presents a detailed examination of the chordophone, featuring an iconographical catalog assembled from the visual arts c. 1100 - c. 1540. The field of iconographical data presented in the catalog is then analyzed, together with relevant literary and music theory sources from the same period, to give a definitive account of the instrument’s morphology, evolution, construction, cultural identity, musical function and repertories. Art historians as well as music historians and players of mediëval and Renaissance instruments will find answers to questions raised about this uniquely Italian ancestor of the High Renaissance and Baroque cittern, as will anyone seeking to gain a more focused view of musical instrument history in Italy during the centuries that shaped Western culture; for here is a stringed instrument recalling Classical Antiquity, and one of quintessential importance to both Christians and Humanists: made in Italy.
The Guava Platform
(last edited: 2023)
author(s): Thalia HoffmanThis exposition is in progress and its share status is: visible to all.
The Guava Platform, which is at the centre of the PhD thesis of Thalia Hoffman, was initiated in 2014 as a conceptual framework of my art practice and research. The aim of the Guava Platform is to research and create possible techniques of art-actions that are part of my quest to continue to live in the conflicted landscape, east of the Mediterranean, as an artist.
This dissertation assembles the Guava art-actions: i.e. a series of three short films, an online radio station, two performances, a geotagging website, and a scent collection as well as the research into a combined space. Both the art-actions and the research convey the Guava Platform. The leading questions of the thesis are: How can time-based art-actions in a conflicted landscape induce and take part in an embodiment of constructive political imagination? If both physical and conceptual ‘movement’ are the actions’ impetus, how can these actions adjust the socio-political impasse of the landscape? And how can they contribute to a socio-political discussion of the landscape I live in?
The outcome of this research is presented on a website. Here, the different components, the art-actions and texts, are not bound to a hierarchical relationship between theory and practice that might restrict their possibility to interact. Instead, the website enables the visitor to navigate between the different artistic and discursive elements in a nonlinear way.
This research of Rina Visser is only available in Dutch.
De positie van kunst en kunstenaars in de westerse samenleving is de afgelopen decennia sterk veranderd. Veel kunstenaars voelen zich maatschappelijk betrokken en zoeken naar aansluiting bij de samenleving. Participatieve kunstpraktijken zijn daarvan een goed voorbeeld. Bij deze kunstvorm werken kunstenaars samen met burgers in hun eigen leefomgeving. De kunstpraktijken zijn gericht op maatschappelijke vraagstukken. Burgers worden met inzet van verbeeldingskracht geactiveerd om te reflecteren op hun eigen situatie en zo tot een andere visie te komen. Het werkterrein van de participatieve kunstenaar wordt daarmee van atelier, theater of concertzaal naar de samenleving verplaatst. Participatieve kunstpraktijken zijn zowel sociaal-maatschappelijk als kunst gericht. Door deze nieuwe manier van werken komt de kunstwereld en de kunstenaar in een ander daglicht te staan. Om deze veranderingen nader te kunnen vaststellen, zijn vijf participatieve kunstpraktijken in de Randstad onderzocht. Uit het onderzoek blijkt dat ook de artistieke identiteit van de kunstenaar van invloed is op de inhoud en vorm van de kunstpraktijk. Sommige kunstenaars zijn gericht op het kunstwerk als eindresultaat. Anderen vinden het sociale proces van de deelnemers belangrijker. Ook de invulling van de deelnemersparticipatie blijkt daarmee samen te hangen. Participatieve kunstenaars vervullen een nieuwe rol in de samenleving, namelijk die van netwerkkunstenaar.
The research oof Petra Klusmeyer explores what and how sound does in certain art practices; it lends an ear to so-called material-discursive events that come into expression as in/determined sonic occurrences.
The dissertation has three main objectives. Firstly, it describes sonic art practice as experimental research and makes a case for curating such practices as a form of research; it positions this type of research as a contribution to new forms of knowledge and provides a resource for future research-creations and evaluation practices. Secondly, it brings together philosophy and art to elaborate a genuine manner of working with sonic matter (mattering); it conceptualizes and materializes novel ways of thinking, and creates a case for writing itself as practice and curating/producing art as theory; that is, it seeks to practice what it theorizes and vice versa. Thirdly, it advocates a certain transformation of self that lets us side-step ourselves, intervene and invent possible worlds or future fabulations. Practicing a process-oriented exploration complexifies as it advances; it creates resonances between theory and practice, between audience and sound art, between the written thesis – inclusive of presented artifacts – and the reader. It wants not to reduce but foster awareness of the ongoing complexity of life.
Early recordings made between the 1880s and mid-1930s reveal a wide gap between the performance practices of a century ago and those of today. Though many contemporary musicians often claim fidelity to composers’ intentions, they clearly prefer to avoid the risks associated with playing in ways familiar to the very composers to whom they pledge fidelity. Given this state of affairs, I, Emlyn Stam, suggest a re-thinking of the concept of Werktreue, predicated upon the notion that 19th-century performers enacted their fidelity to works and composers by creating altered and highly personalized versions of the detail, structure and time of composers’ works. My own performances aim to enact this performer-centred Werktreue in order circumvent the frequently restrictive nature of modern performance practices while closing the gap between these practices and those heard on early recordings of viola solo, viola/piano and string quartet repertoires.
The question my work engages with is: how might viola and string quartet playing in the performer-centered, moment-to-moment and communicative style heard on early recordings be brought about today? In order to achieve this aim, the study of relevant literatures on early-recorded style is combined with historical research and the detailed analysis and ‘all-in’ copying of early recordings.
Between Freedom and Fixity: Artistic Reflections on Composition and Improvisation is a practice-based research project that aims to highlight the role of freedom and fixity in music and to develop a discourse based on these two concepts. This research of Ilya Ziblat Shay suggests a creative approach based on the interrelationship between freedom and fixity, for example their combination, juxtaposition, and tension, and describes them as abstractions or placeholders for musical agents such as rhythm, notes, structure, timeline, and interactive computer systems. Another important notion is the inherent coexistence of the two concepts, and proposing the constant oscillating between them as a creative musical approach. Furthermore, the research aims to establish the use of freedom and fixity as a productive paths for extra-musical disciplines. Four works by the author are used as case studies to examine the integration of the research concepts as tangible musical forms. In each of the case studies the concepts are embodied differently, thus different relationships develop between them in each piece. This study relies on the author's experience and experimentation as a composer, performer, improviser, and electronic-music practitioner, and draws inspiration from works by other musicians and scholars.
The PhD project of K.G. Guttman 'Territoriality and Choreography in Site-Situated Performance' is conducted through artistic practice and theoretical inquiry. The project performatively activates a series of residential sites in Canada and the Netherlands. Site-situated performance refers to an artistic process that begins and ends on-site, working within the specific conditions of a location. The key terms territoriality and choreography here represent concepts and practices that express and navigate space-time(s). The project animates qualities of territoriality through a choreographed encounter between host-dancer, guest-audience and site-performance. Written and explored from the perspective of a Canadian settler scholar and artist, the project attunes to the material and discursive agency of the guest, host and site within colonial and settler colonial conditions. The project develops a critical and creative mode of engagement with the social, material and political characteristics of a site and with the world-building potential of performance.
The thesis of Kai-wen Chiu studies the political potential of metal music from the perspective of phónè in metal,with phónè referring to both voice and sound. I propose that metal, with its loud,distorted phónè, has the potential to challenge the politically charged separation of the meaningful collective voice of a people from the production of sheer sound. Throughout the thesis, I investigate this potential at four levels. The first chapter examines the connection between metal and scholarly subcultural politics. In the second chapter, I study how metal can inform us about power relations running through everyday life, especially with regard to issues of race and gender. The third chapter tackles aspects of power relations that are enacted at the site of phónè, and that draw attention to metal’s loud and distorted phónè. In the final chapter, I examine political activism in Taiwanese metal, demonstrate its relevance, and reflect on its shortcoming. The trajectory of this thesis marks a form of political engagement through phónè in metal, from the perspective of a scholar and a Taiwanese.
Phónè, Voice and sound, Biopolitics, Giorgio Agamben, Taiwanese metal music, Metal music studies
The dissertation of Elizabeth Dobbin examines the airs sérieux contained within the Recueils d’airs serieux et à boire de differents autheurs published by the Ballard printing house in Paris between 1695 and 1699 inclusive. Inspired by the performer’s desire to uncover and to sing this previously neglected yet rich and diverse repertoire, the present study was equally propelled by the researcher’s instinct to investigate the vocal performance practice associated with it. Previous academic writings in this field showed that the airs sérieux of the type published in the Recueils were sung in a variety of fora, notably the seventeenth-century Parisian salon. The vocal practice associated with this sociable institution and its polite modes of conversation and interaction therefore represent the principal focus of this study. In its examination of the nuanced style of singing that was unique to these worldly gatherings, the present study seeks to unveil a politesse du chant. Alongside this focus, however, considerable attention is also accorded to the different modes of performance of this repertoire, and to an evaluation of the extent to which current conventions of French Baroque performance-practice are in harmony with, or divergent from, the historical vocal and aesthetic sources.
The present study of Franziska Fleischanderl is the first comprehensive and fundamental compendium on the Italian salterio of the eighteenth century. It sheds light on its genesis in the ecclesiastical environment, its dissemination and use in all regions of Italy, its social rise to the highest circles of the aristocracy, its virtuoso professionals and noble amateurs, and last but not least, its original genre-spanning repertoire. It is a great peculiarity of the Italian salterio that it was played with three completely different playing techniques in equal measure. Either the strings were struck with two small hammers (battuto), plucked with the fingernails and fingertips (finger-pizz) or plucked it with plectra, that were fixed in metal finger rings and placed at the fingertips (plectra-pizz). The search for and reproduction of original playing utensils such as hammers and finger rings, as well as instructions for assigning the appropriate playing technique to the original salterio repertoire and mastering all three techniques, constitute the artistic research part of this study, which was conducted on an exceptionally well-preserved, beautifully decorated, original salterio made by Michele Barbi in Rome in 1725.
This research project of Eleni Kamma adresses the question how local and traditional European forms of parrhesiastic theater—by which I mean events, actions, and performances staged by characters who courageously speak their minds through scenes of excess and laughter, that take place in public view and incite the spectator’s agency to speak their own minds—possibly relate to and/or provide new insights into critical artistic practices today. In this context, the project also examines the place and role of caricature today.I approach the issue as an artist-researcher concerned with socially engaged artistic practices. The experience of the playful, humorous, and sharply critical attitude of Gezi Park protesters speaking their minds in Istanbul in 2013 led me to critically reconsider my own courage in positioning myself within contemporary artistic production. Throughout the dissertation I work along a Moebius strip schema, which continually shifts from me as individual artist to dialogic collaborations to writing about the process. The research subject is investigated through a circulation process within which concepts such as communication, dialogue, and listening are continuously performed and put to the test. The dissertation aspires to provide new insights into how tensions between the roles of individual and group, “I” and “we,” may open up a parrhesiastic space for critical artistic practices.
The dissertation of Jack Segbars investigates the fabric and the infrastructure of contemporary artistic production. The focal question is how the contemporary field of institutional artistic production is organised and how the relations between its actors and functions: artists, curators, institution, governance and theory are structured, and how the artistic object that results from their interaction is produced. The backdrop of this investigation, is the condition of cognitive capitalism. Production and working-relations in late capitalism as analysed by Paolo Virno, are characterized by the primacy of communications. It presumes that no longer there is a clear demarcation between aesthetics, labour and politics in the general make-up of production and economy.The second backdrop is the postconceptual condition, as formulated by British philosopher Peter Osborne. He describes how the authorship of the art-object has shifted to the institutional platform (museum, presentation-space) and how the ‘project’ has become the general form of production. This situation particularly affects artistic production and the relationships between the main actors in regards to who holds the authorship over the artistic object. Both these movements have led to significant changes in how to consider the status of authorship in artistic production. Together they shape the theoretical basis for the research.
This dissertation of Anja Groten explores matters of collectivity, drawing from the experience of working with the Amsterdam-based collective Hackers & Designers (H&D). The main thesis of this research is that conventional design vocabularies are not capable of sufficiently expressing and accounting for collectivities‘ resistance to fixation and stabilization. Collective design as it is discussed here challenges notions of individual authorship, differentiations between disciplines, between product and process or between the user and maker. While collectives shape particular affiliations and commitments, design approaches and aesthetics, they also require perspectives on working and designing together that resist linearity, and a progress-based understanding of a design process. By means of several case studies, it is argued that the fragmentation of social and work relations is as much a characteristic of collective practice as the effort to sustain long-term relationships.Thus, collective practice is not fully deliberate, at least not in the same way as for instance ‘teamwork’, ‘the commons’, or ‘cooperativism’, are purposeful organizational frameworks for living, working or being together. Collective Collective design processes take part in and are a result of particular (often fragile) socio-economic, socio-technical conditions that pervade and shape the ways collectives function.
This research of Stefan Belderbos focuses on a new field of artistic research in which a visual artist takes on the role of researcher. The main research question is whether performance art integrated in an ecumenical service, combined with artistic directions from the artist, can enhance the religious experience of those taking part in the church service. I set my research against theology and Ritual Studies by describing my ideal image of a liturgical service and by comparing this personal view with the viewpoints of several theologians. Furthermore I examined the theories of the psychology of religion to search for an description of the concept of religious experience.The artistic experiment I set up in order to answer my main research question comprised a set of church services with several integrated performances. In this research I counted, described and analysed a total number of seven religious experiences. From the description and analyses of the experiences it became clear that these were indeed brought about by the performance rituals in the church services.
In the field of Western art music, improvisation has become a much discussed topic. In this interdisciplinary study Bert Mooiman argues that in this context, improvisation is not to be seen as a quasi-autonomous skill or art form, but as an aspect of music-making in general. With this research, Mooiman offers a ‘panorama’ of nineteenth-century styles and situations of music-making that together sketch a picture of improvisatory aspects of nineteenth-century music. Music was generally experienced as a wordless language, and he argues that making music was understood as a rhetorical act: performers strove for musical persuasion. This study focuses on the performer: it explores how performers in the nineteenth century might have thought during the real-time act of music-making, and how performers today might learn to use musical languages from the past actively again. For this last aspect, the area of music theory is relevant; Mooiman concludes his dissertation with a discussion of how traditional music theory is challenged by improvisatory music-making.
In this research project, Nizar Rohana analyzes and reflects on taqsīm recordings by two leading figures of ‘ūd playing who were pillars of modern Arabic music, namely the Egyptians Muḥammad al-Qaṣabjī (1898-1964) and Riyāḍ al-Sunbāṭī (1906-1981). Rohana encodes and underlines their most significant traits in order to:1) enrich and develop my melodic-rhythmic vocabulary;2) deepen my understanding of the structural, melodic and rhythmic processes underlying the genre; 3) design a structural framework or a model for pre-composing taqsīm-like pieces of music.
To put it another way, the dissertation discusses the creation of pre-composed taqāsīm. The pieces follow a specific model of pre-composition that was designed while taking al-Qaṣabjī and al-Sunbāṭī’s taqsīm practice as a reference and a source of inspiration. This model contributes to both artistic research and practical knowledge, and provides new insights into structural, melodic and rhythmical processes of the genre. The artistic outcome of this project includes five new works for solo ‘ūd.
The music-performing body fulfills an essential role in the creation of new instrumental compositions. However, its presence is rarely the primary concern of compositional thinking. With most musical experimentation, the music-making body keeps a self-evident function as a transparent medium for musical ideas, but also as a limitation on the potential for musical exploitation. Recent artistic and theoretical developments invite a rethink of the compositional potential of the music-performing body. Focus on the music-making body and the physicality of the music experience has intensified in recent decades. A body paradigm is becoming audible and visible in the work of a generation of young composers, as well as in musicological research. The micro-temporality of physical gesture and instrumental timbre have become key points of interest. In the micro-temporal space, physical presence is unveiled as a very direct interactive ability of the performer or improviser but also as a 'bodily thinking' of the composing body. Based on recent scientific insights and both historical and recent music examples, Paul Craenen develops a concept of 'intercorporeality' that sheds new light on the relationship between music performers, composers and music consumers.
This dissertation of Yolande Harris explores sound, its image and its role in relating humans and our technologies to the environment. It investigates two related questions: How does sound mediate our relationship to environment? And how can contemporary multidisciplinary art practices articulate and explore this relation between sound and environment? Scorescapes is predicated on the idea that artists and scientists are a part of the sonic environments we study. Thus we cannot assume a passive role of listening without recognising the influence of our actions and presence on the environment with which we engage. The systemic relationship among elements in a complex ecology demands an active approach in which we conceive of ourselves as immersed participants rather than simply as objective observers. This realisation, in turn, demands challenging conventional conceptions of the composer as musical specialist and embracing a trans-disciplinary approach towards sound and sonic research. Given this attitude towards direct engagement in environment, my work as an artist forms a central part of my research method. The Scorescapes project includes audio-visual installations and performances, performative lectures, electronic instruments, sonic walks and collaborations with improvising musicians. In addition, the project has involved close interactions with composers David Dunn, Alvin Lucier and Pauline Oliveros, and bio-acoustic scientist Michel Andr_. Engaging with these experts and creating and presenting new works allows me to apply and test theoretical ideas. This, in turn, encourages new and unexpected questions to arise that can then be explored theoretically. The written dissertation combines analysis of theoretical texts on sound, scores, environmental aesthetics and scientific papers, with reflections on my personal experiences and discoveries in recording, editing, exhibiting and performing my artistic works. The artworks generated during the course of the Scorescapes project are an integral part of the dissertation and are documented in the accompanying DVD. In order to adequately explore the various facets of this research project, and relate it to developments in my own practical work, I have chosen a subject-oriented approach rather than a chronological or historiographical one. Each chapter has a one-word subject title: Score, Scape, Inaudible, Whale, Field and Flare. In the first two chapters I outline my personal artistic interest in the development of the notion of a score beyond a document for notation, proposing that the score facilitates relationship. Building on my work with sonic navigations, I provide theoretical arguments and historical examples to suggest that the score can also exist in the mind and in space. Examining the question - what is it to __relate to environment__ through sound? __ I investigate parallels between Acoustic Ecology and Land Art, ecology and systems aesthetics, and the legacy of walking as an art form embodying relationship to environment. The central three chapters go into considerably more depth on specific topics that require mediation by technology: making the inaudible audible, underwater sound and attitudes to field recording. The physiological limitations of the human hearing range within larger environmental soundscapes highlight the necessity of making the humanly inaudible audible. As an example, the necessity but difficulty of understanding the sonic qualities of the underwater environment that functions largely through sound, is explored through the scientific and artistic work on cetaceans. This leads on to questions of place in field recordings in general and proposes a possible interactive role in environments through recordings. The concluding chapter is an attempt to synthesise the array of ideas that developed during this research by taking a more personal turn in an analysis of my own art works. Through the artistic process of making Pink Noise, Fishing for Sound, Tropical Storm and other works, realising a performance of Lucier__s Quasimodo, and working with Oliveros__ Deep Listening techniques, I recognised the central importance of considering the context in which sounds occur rather than exclusively the qualities of a sound itself. Such an attitude presents a significant shift in the role of the composer. From this perspective, the act of composition emphasizes learning to listen in order to understand sounds in relationship to their environment, and enabling other listeners to do the same. The Scorescapes research project maps given approaches and suggests potential trajectories between sound, technology, environment and sonic consciousness. In general, putting such ideas into practice, either through my own work or the work of others, creates possibilities for heightened awareness and engagement in environment. The environment is continuously being developed and transformed by human intervention. Understanding sounds__ role in these transformations can open up greater awareness of the interrelation of factors that can lead towards more sustainable practices in the arts as well as science and other fields. In conclusion, I propose a notion of __techno-intuition__ and its application in instrument design and interaction with the environment by combining technological and intuitive ways of knowing.
Dissonance curves are the starting point for an investigation into a psychoacoustically informed harmony. Its main hypothesis is that harmony consists of two independent but intertwined aspects operating simultaneously, namely proportionality and linear pitch distance. The former aspect is related to intervallic characters, the latter to ‘high’, ‘low’, ‘bright’ and ‘dark’, therefore to timbre. This research of Juan Sebastian Lach Lau derives from the development of tools for algorithmic composition which extract pitch materials from sound signals, analyzing them according to their timbral and harmonic properties, putting them into motion through diverse rhythmic and textural procedures. The tools and the reflections derived from their use offer fertile ideas for the generation of instrumental scores, electroacoustic soundscapes and interactive live-electronic systems.
The thesis of Anne Marie Dragosits presents a new perspective on Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger (ca.1580-1651), who is nowadays only famous for his works for theorbo and lute, his remarkable output of vocal music of all genres being still mostly neglected from musicologists and performers. The thesis aims to change the perception of the composer via three different angles: A reconstruction of his life and career with a substantial amount of new biographical information builds one pillar of the book, whereas in the second part his vocal works are approached and contextualized as prototypes of radical „stile novo“ in Roman characteristic. The last third is dedicated to questions about basso continuo and Roman performance practice in Kapsperger’s lifetime, dealing also with the composers’ own material on continuo as fount of inspiration for continuo players of all instruments.
Important notice from the author:
Further research after finishing the PhD has unearthed important new archival material. Some of my hypotheses have been strongly confirmed, but some chapters of the biographical part of this thesis are not valid any more. Please find an updated version of Kapsperger’s biography here:
Vienna, the 14th of November 2020
Anne Marie Dragosits
This research of Arne Deforce is only available in Dutch.
Boek I : Het hier voorliggende proefschrift Laborinth Π Boek II : De ‘Laborinth-art-box’, een speciaal op 15 exemplaren gemaakt collectors item, met daarin de boeken 1 en 3, de originele partituren van Brian Ferneyhoughs Time and Motion Study II, John Cages Etudes Boreales met begeleidende vingervellen met de publicatie van de vingerzettingen, werkverslagen, het citaten boek ‘De partituur van het denken’, drie cd’s met de integrale opname van de cellowerken van Giacinto Scelsi, Morton Feldman en Iannis Xenakis verschenen bij het label Aeon, een Laborinth Π-affiche, het programmaboekje van de Laborinth Π-cellomarathon. De ‘laborinth-art-box’ werd gemaakt naar een ontwerp van Arne Deforce in gepolierd plexiglas, 34 x 47, 6,5 cm. Boek III : De partituur met alle vingerzettingen en annotaties van het nieuwe werk Life-form voor cello en elektronica van Richard Barrett dat speciaal werd gecomponeerd voor de artistieke presentatie van het proefschrift. De artistieke presentatie bestaat uit: (1) de creatie van het nieuwe cellowerk Life-from van Richard Barrett in opdracht van het Concertgebouw Brugge, Centre Pousseur Liège, November Music s’Hertogenbosch, Akademie de Kunsten Universiteit Leiden. Première 10 november 2012, Festival November Music, Hervomde Kerk te s’Hertogenbosh, en 11 november Festival Surround, Concertgebouw Brugge. (2) een cello marathon van drie concerten op één dag met werken van James Dillon, John Cage, Jonathan Harvey, Raphael Cendo, Iannis Xenakis, Helmut Lachenmann, Iannis Xenakis, Richard Barrett. 12 november Kees Vanbaarenzaal, Conservatorium Den Haag.
In our culture, vocal harmonics fuction as independent musical elements since only a few decades. Thresholds of the audible explores the changing relationship between singers, listeners and harmonics. As a research method a series of compositions (Nulpunten/’Zeropoints’) has been developed, which attempt to make a fresh approach to overtone singing and to the sonic source material of the human body. They spark off further investigations of reality and illusion of our auditory world. Using his experiences with Tibetan monks and Sardinian brotherhoods and the ‘transverbal’ oeuvre of Michael Vetter, Mark van Tongeren develops his notion ‘multiphony of the body’. The last word, according to him, must be given to readers/listeners, who are challenged to shift their thresholds of the audible with the cd It starts here and the performance Incognito ergo sum.
The artistic PhD research "Shifting Identities", by Falk Hübner, investigates the musicians' professional identity and how this identity might shift when musicians start acting as theatrical performers. In most of the theatrical situations where musicians "perform", their profession is extended by additional tasks such as walking on stage or reciting text. As an alternative strategy to extension, this research introduces and focuses on reduction, which means the abstracting away of specific qualities or abilities of the musician's profession. The audience watches musicians not doing certain things that usually belong to their profession. Both the expansive and the reductive approaches are concepts of working theatrically with musicians. They are different, perhaps even contradictory strategies, but both bear the ability to enrich the musician's professional identity with a more theatrical appearance. In order to build an understanding of what is extended or reduced when the identity shifts from a musician to a theatrical (musician-)performer a dynamic model is developed which builds strongly on what musicians actually do, a model that categorises the musician's professional activities into internal, external and contextual elements.
This research of Cathy van Eck takes the artistic use of the devices that bring sound waves into electricity and back as its central focus point; they are commonly called microphones and loudspeakers. These devices have become essential for many forms of music making. Through the same pair of loudspeakers, people listen to diverse music and sound, such as violin sonatas, rock songs or simply the latest news. Accordingly, microphones and loudspeakers are often designed to remain transparent; that is, "inaudible" in the final sound result. From the 1950s on, microphones and loudspeakers started to play a crucial role not only in the mere reproduction of sound, but also in the creation of music. Composers and musicians often described these new possibilities of using microphones and loudspeakers as musical instruments.
This resulted not only in many pieces and performances that used microphones and loudspeakers in unusual ways but also in many new possibilities for musical composition. Confronted with microphones and loudspeakers through my own practice as a composer using electro-acoustic media, Van Eck investigated how microphones and loudspeakers could become musical instruments. This resulted in 28 compositions and a text about historical, theoretical, and practical aspects of the subject. To obtain a clear picture of the possibilities of microphones and loudspeakers in music, Van Ec develops four approaches in my dissertation. Three of them focus on the transparent use (reproducing, supporting and generating). The fourth approach focuses on the use of microphone and loudspeakers in an opaque way; that is, as musical instruments. Van Eck calls this the interacting approach, since the music should, in contrast to the other approaches, not be transmitted through microphones and loudspeakers, but formed, coloured, and changed by these devices. The fourth approach was the starting point for 28 compositions, in which Van Eck investigates in what ways one could interact or "play" microphones and loudspeakers. This resulted in a categorisation of three interaction parameters: movement, material and space. Van Eck looked at how these interaction parameters might be recognised in the work of other musicians and composers, as well as how the interaction with microphones and loudspeakers influenced compositional form, the performance situation, and the relationship between musician and musical instrument. This resulted in a theory and praxis in which Van Eck elaborates upon unique features of music, composed with microphones and loudspeakers.
Several chapters of this dissertation have been adapted and made into the book ‘Between Air and Electricity : Microphones and Loudspeakers as Musical Instruments’ which has been published at Bloomsbury Open Access DOI 10.5040/9781501327636
As an artist, Krien Clevis is fascinated by the phenomenon of place in relation to beginnings and final destinations. This study links up the concept of place with memory, with the idea of transience and the transition from life to death. The main research question addressed the following concern: 'how can I present my work in a way so that it both comprises a representation of place and emerges or exists as a place itself?'
As the research was geared toward places of meaning, Clevis also aspired to create new places of meaning. The search for them involved a journey through time and space __ not just _ la recherche du temps perdu, but also _ la recherche du lieu perdu. The research expanded into various areas that are somewhat affiliated with art, namely archeology, architecture and (art)history. Through the photo works and the installation Clevis created, Clevis intends to share a visual story with the audience and find a way in which viewers of the work may appropriate the story and add to it by mobilizing their own perceptions. The reflections on the quality and characteristics of place took Clevis to the classical houses found in Pompeii and the ancient tombs of Rome and Cerveteri. The connection between these spatial manifestations of life and death as two extremes is essential to me. The historical research made Clevis aware that as an artist Clevis is part of long tradition indeed. As such the artistic sightline cuts across the historical sightline in this work, to which Clevis also added a more personal, autobiographical sightline as a third meaningful dimension.
In this dissertation, Barbara Varassi Pega digs into the constituent elements of River Plate tango in order to decode how specific musical materials were organized and combined by four outstanding musicians: Osvaldo Pugliese, Horacio Salgán, Astor Piazzolla and Gustavo Beytelmann. For this purpose, Varassi Pega has analysed a select number of representative pieces through a study of their scores and recordings. This led to the definition of certain artistic processes and innovations within the genre, theoretical foundations for such processes, and, in all, a deeper understanding of the art of creating tango music, in addition to an overall, chronological view of its development and techniques. The articulation of this (partly) embodied knowledge has resulted in an original contribution to the field, providing new insights with which both Varassi Pega and the greater artistic community can enrich our skills in arranging, composing and performing tango music. The formulation of hypothesis and conclusions, and the translation of the findings into the own production through empiric methods and experimentation were executed alongside the analytical part of the work. The continuous exchange between the practical and theoretical aspects of this research project was fundamental, always strengthening and feeding back each other.
This dissertation of Miguelángel Clerc Parada explores various perspectives on the term immersion, and its relation with, and transformation through, a composer’s practice. Immersion is presented as a key term to interconnect diverse aspects of musical practice and music listening with their various phenomenological and ontological implications. Immersion through music is proposed as a transitional experience that exposes and interrelates multiple layers of reality, questioning critically the tendency to think immersion as an experience within a particular or self-contained space (in music, in a book, in a virtual environment, in thoughts, in water, in a music hall, etc.). The compositions What about Woof? (for five percussionists and video installation), La línea desde el Centro (for twelve guitarists), Eufótica (for six percussionists and tape) and A Bao A Qu (for nine musicians and tape), analyzed and developed through the research trajectory, are the main artistic source to develop the ideas of each chapter of this investigation. The compositional processes described and the reflections about immersion derived from them offer diverse perspectives on the practical and phenomenological aspects of music composition, performance and listening.
The use of the electronic medium to compose music entails a variety of cognitive idiosyncrasies which are experienced by both the artist and the audience. Structured around this medium on both practical and conceptual levels, this study utilizes a tripartite methodology involving artistic practice, cognitive experimentation and theoretical discourse to investigate these idiosyncrasies. All three components of this methodology operate concurrently to address a succession of questions: How do we experience electronic music? How does electronic music operate on perceptual, cognitive and affective levels? What are the common concepts activated in the listener’s mind when listening to electronic music? Why and how are these concepts activated?
In this dissertation Anil Çamc argues that our experience of electronic music is guided by a cognitive continuum rooted in our everyday experiences. Çamc describes this continuum as spanning from abstract to representational based on the relationship of gestures in electronic music to events in the environment. Conducting this research has significantly expanded my comprehension of the experiential depth of electronic music. It has also affirmed my belief that we have much more to gain from the electronic medium, and that the cognitive continuum is one of its most remarkable offerings.
The Partimenti of Giovanni Paisiello: Towards Their Understanding in Context.
Full version only available in German.
This doctoral thesis of Nicoleta Paraschivescu focuses on Paisiello's partimenti and how to approach their realization and performance. To that end I completed an in-depth profile of his pedagogical activities and expanded the already well-known sources—the Regole published in St. Petersburg (1782)—with newly discovered partimenti by Paisiello. Crucial for this study were connections between Paisiello's partimenti and not only his own compositions but also those of his teacher Francesco Durante and his other contemporaries. This broader perspective required taking into account the genre-specific contexts in which Paisiello’s partimenti reside. The inclusion of larger musical forms and complex progressions as compositional models significantly expands the spectrum of possibilities in the realization of his partimenti. A central idea emerging from this study is that partimenti provide a key to the musical language of the time and offer vast possibilities for realization and ornamentation.
This dissertation of Ruchama Noorda, together with the artworks documented in it, is the result of an investigation across multiple media over a seven-year period of the cultural, artistic and spiritual legacy of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Lebensreform (Life Reform) movement.
In the course of this research Noorda situates this movement with its origins in Europe and its promotion of a back-to-nature lifestyle (health foods, sexual emancipation, rational dress/nudism, pantheism/syncretic New Age religions) in a long line of radical reform projects, that lead back to the Reformation and the Anabaptist rebellions in sixteenth-century Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. At the same time, Noorda links the passage to America of Lebensreform beliefs and practices to the rise of the hippy counter-culture in California and the global spread in the decades since the nineteen-sixties of today’s ecological, organic food and naturopathy / Wellness movements.
In both the dissertation and the series of artworks discussed within it, Noorda sets out to unravel and confront the complicated legacy of Theosophy and Anthroposophy, the holistic systems of belief that formed the spiritual backbone of the Lebensreform phenomenon. In the process Noorda probes the question of how it came to be, that an occult world view based on a synthesis of world religions could appeal equally to purist avant-garde proponents of abstraction such as Kandinsky and Mondriaan and to figurative painters and illustrators such as Fidus (Hugo Höppener) and Fritz Mackensen, whose work promoted an idealized ‘Aryan’ aesthetic in line with German National Socialist ideology. As such the present work forms part of the larger reappraisal currently under way among artists and scholars of the history of utopian counter-cultural thinking and alternative life-style experimentation in the West. Following in the footsteps of historians such as Peter Staudenmaier, Janet Biehl, and Susan A. Manning, Noorda argues that this reappraisal forces us to acknowledge the anti-rational esoteric roots of Modernism along with the progressive strands in Modernist thinking and practice, that tend to be foregrounded in most historical accounts. However the interest in this project as an artist is not conventionally historical or academic but rather personal and performative. And the way the arguments are made, for the most part through installations, drawings, sculptural objects, video works, artist statements and performances, bears little relation to the orderly modes of presentation and detached forms of analysis that mark traditional academic discourse. Instead, the project unfolded over time as a prolonged archaeological dig into two intersecting strata, the muddy history of the Lebensreform movement and the own formation as someone born into an anthroposophical/Reform Church household in Leiden. The tension between Progress (social engineering/the collaborative ideal) and ℞egression (back to nature/childhood/basics) dictates the rhythm of the dig.
The excavation metaphor gets literalized as Noorda moves closer to home, and in many of the artworks (Dutch) mud and compacted soil become the primary material: both the medium in which the inquiries are conducted and the consumable message/medicine dispensed at the door in pill-form to the departing exhibition visitor.
In this dissertation of Itandehui Jansen, the ‘Voice’ of the filmmaker from a political and aesthetic perspective is examined. Within film practice the own ‘Voice’ refers mainly to the aesthetic style of a filmmaker. Within the field of postcolonial studies 'Voice' is related to the access that postcolonial subjects have to the production of discourse. Movies and other media can be seen in this context as a form of discourse. For Indigenous filmmakers both approaches to ‘Voice’ and having a ‘Voice’ are important.
This study explores the way in which Indigenous filmmakers, particularly from Latin America, express their 'Voice' both politically and aesthetically in their films.
Central to this research of Hans Scholten is the Urban Future-project, which consists of a large archive of artworks made from 2002 until now. The original question underpinning this project was: what influence do chaos, entropy and fragmentation have on the viability of the rapidly developing urbanizing world?
In the course of the research project, the (literature and field) explorations led to the assumption that there is a demonstrable and necessary link between the quality of life in the city and vital social cohesion on the one hand and chaos, entropy and fragmentation on the other. In the artistic part of the research focuses on the question: is it possible to make the supposed connection between quality of urban life and chaos, entropy and fragmentation visible in artwork and, if so, how? In the written dissertation, working methods and strategies are contextualized and analyzed. The visual part derives from an artist's position which uses non-verbal, sensorial strategies to reach new insights. It mainly focuses on the visual and aesthetic possibilities of aspects of fragmentation, chaos and entropy because Scholten considers these aspects, as productive forces, to be the core of the experience of urbanization.
This thesis of Inês de Avena Braga examined two previously neglected topics, Baroque Italian recorders and the Neapolitan Baroque repertoire for the recorder, and then combined both aspects. First, information was collected on all Italian Baroque recorders currently known, including biographical references about the makers of these recorders, as well as technical drawings, measurements and photographs. The practical experience with the copies of a few of those recorders was described by the author. Second, the Baroque repertoire composed in Naples for the recorder was researched, uncovering a rich and forgotten corpus of music written and copied between 1695 and 1759. The Neapolitan recorder works were also listed with a brief analysis and further commentary on the recorder part, with a view of connecting the works with the instruments that might have once been used to play them. Furthermore, an overview of the social and cultural atmosphere of Naples in the early eighteenth century was offered as contextualization to the musical ambience, aided by iconographical references. Conclusions on performance practice are presented as a result of the combination of both research aspects. The artistic outcome of this study has brought together, also in performance, the two main aspects of the research: 'new' instruments and 'new' works.
Frans Preumayr's nineteenth century virtuosic bassoon repertoire. An approach with a fine Grenser & Wiesner bassoon from Dresden: Issues of material and technique.
What techniques and tools must be developed by period bassoonists in order to successfully approach the performance of Frans Preumayr's virtuosic repertoire?
"A Very Fine Eleven-Keyed Stained Maple Bassoon by H. Grenser & Wiesner, Dresden, circa 1825" - as titled in an entry in a London auction catalogue - is one of the few surviving examples of a complete period bassoon with all its parts, offering valuable information for both period instrument builders and players today.
This research project of Donna Agrell is based specifically on the unique opportunity that the Grenser & Wiesner instrument presents us with: an investigation of early nineteenth century bassoon works written for the Swedish virtuoso Frans Preumayr by composers such as Franz Berwald and Bernhard Henrik Crusell. Solutions for technical problems found in this repertoire are sought and described, and include a discussion of reed styles and fingering systems for the period bassoonist.
Sophie Ernst’s doctoral thesis is an artist’s contribution to media art theory. It focusses on the role of projection as material for sculpture. Her research addresses the question in what manner are projections applied in contemporary art and what image traditions does this relate to. She considers projections to be either immersive, like a cinematic experience, or augmentative, in the sense of a mixed reality. Immersions, the dominant mode in projection art and large parts of the theoretical discourse, presuppose a willing suspension of disbelief. Augmentation, on the other hand, can be seen as ‘magical’. It is a technique in art to ‘make strange’ by creating a distance that can be either pleasant or unsettling. Ernst argues that augmenting projections are persuasive, not because they are materially ‘real’, but rather since they make visible what we could imagine as real.
Today’s performances of medieval polyphony have a lot in common with those of other ‘classical’ or ‘early’ music. Ensembles perform pieces written by known or lesser known composers, which the listener can revisit by listening to recordings or reading a score. In the middle ages, however, the performance of compositions was only one of the ways available to singers for creating polyphonic music. The ability to improvise a second or third voice above a plainchant melody, called discantare super planum cantum (‘singing above the plainchant’) or cantare super librum (‘singing on the book’), was a crucial skill for a church musician in the middle ages, and singers were trained at this from an early age.
Niels Berentsens’ project aims to expand our knowledge of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century polyphony, through music-historical scholarship as well as practical experiences. An in-depth investigation of the material remains of late medieval musical culture—compositions and theoretical writings about music—forms the basis for experiments with polyphonic improvisation above plainchants together with colleague-singers and students. The project has developed new ways of understanding late medieval polyphony, which are useful not only for teaching and analysis, but which may form a stimulus for contemporary performance practices of early music as well.
Ambient sound is a standard term used by sound practitioners to denote the site-specific background sound component that provides a characteristic atmosphere and spatial information in a sound work. In this project Budhaditya Chattopadhyay sets out to examine how ambient sound is used as a site-specific element to create spatial awareness in sound production. Taking a critical attitude towards the notions of diegetic sound, mimesis, presence, artistic transformations of soundscapes, and technological innovations, the project highlights the inherent similarities and differences between the ways ambient sounds are used in film and sound art; the aim has been to investigate how the latter practice informs the former and vice versa. The dissertation cites examples from a substantial number of representative Indian films and focuses on three of the recent sound artworks. These case studies are examined via critical listening, historical mapping, and thorough analyses of the sound production processes. The project also draws inputs from prominent sound practitioners in the form of semi-structured interviews.
'Imagined Voices', a research by Yannis Kyriakides, deals with a form of composition, music with on-screen text, in which the dynamic between sound, words and visuals is explored. The research explores the ideas around these 'music-text-films', and attempts to explain how meaning is constructed in the interplay between the different layers of media.
Issues that initially arose out of the research, were directly related to the question of 'voice': Who is narrating? And where is the voice located? These questions became more pertinent after noticing a phenomenon occurring during performances of these works: that when we read text synchronised to music, we become very aware of an inner voice silently reading along. This effect of hearing one's own voice in the music, was a discovery that had many consequences for the ways in which the ideas about listening and the role of multimedia could function within music.
In the creative work of the research, that has resulted in over thirty works of 'music-text-film' the media are set up to highlight ways of listening that puts emphasis on the role of the listener/spectator. A state of limbo is created between the narrative voice of the text and the implied voice of the music, due to the absence of a conventional focal point to pin it on - an actor or a singer. The thesis suggests that because of this vacancy and the way the projected word takes the place of the sung or spoken voice, the inner voice of the audience becomes activated. This then becomes a vital immersive dimension in the performance, as the inner voices of the audience find their place within the fabric of the music.
This study by artist Jonas Staal explores the development of propaganda art from the 20th to the 21st century.
Staal defines propaganda as the performance of power by means of the equation propaganda = power + performance. Through his work as a propaganda researcher and practice as a propaganda artist, he argues that different structures of power generate different forms of propaganda and therefore different forms of propaganda art.
Whereas in the context of the 20th century Staal discusses the differences between avant-garde, totalitarian, and modernist propaganda art, in the 21st century he proposes the categories of War on Terror Propaganda Art, Popular Propaganda Art, and Stateless Propaganda Art. By means of concrete examples of artists and artworks within each of these categories, he attempts to show how the performance of power in the 21st century translates into different visual forms, and how they shape and direct our reality.
Staal’s study shows that power and art exist in continuous interaction. Propaganda and propaganda art are not terms that only refer to the past, but concepts and practices through which we can understand the construction of reality in the present.
This research of Elske Tinbergen is only available in Dutch.
In 20e-eeuwse naslagwerken is niet veel geschreven over de cello in de Lage Landen in de 17e en 18e eeuw, wat doet denken dat het instrument in die tijd hier niet of amper gebruikt werd. Echter, geschreven en pictoriale bronnen alsmede instrumenten en bladmuziek uit deze twee eeuwen geven wel informatie. Op basis hiervan kan gesteld worden dat de cello in de Nederlanden veel meer gebruikt werd dan gedacht. Er werden hier instrumenten gebouwd, er werden zeer veel afbeeldingen geproduceerd (schilderijen, maar ook bijvoorbeeld gebruiksartikelen zoals tegels, drinkglazen en
zilver) en er is ook een substantiële collectie muziek voor cello gecomponeerd, zowel voor cello solo als cello continuo.
De meest verrassende uitkomst van het onderzoek is wel dat er door veel cellisten in de 17e eeuw een andere streektechniek (n.l. onderhands) werd gebruikt dan in de 18e eeuw. Deze uitkomst wordt ondersteund door een overweldigende collectie afbeeldingen. Deze andere streektechniek resulteert in een andere klank en articulatie wat een ander karakter aan een muziekstuk geeft.
Daarnaast is er uitgebreid onderzoek gedaan naar Alexis Magito, lid van een beroemde 18e-eeuwse Rotterdamse familie van voornamelijk kermisklanten maar ook van enkele musici. Alexis was cellist, componist en graveur. Tijdens dit onderzoek is veel informatie over zijn levensloop boven water gekomen. Twee van zijn cellosonates zijn door de promovenda op cd gezet.
Conclusie: het onderzoek laat zien dat de cello ook in de Lage Landen wijdverbreid was en dat er vele verschijningsvormen en speelwijzen waren.
The existing literature only partly acknowledges the microtonal possibilities of the bass clarinet, restricting the options mainly to quartertones. When measured, the results of the proposed fingering patterns are often approximative.
This PhD project of Henri Bok proposes a new microtonal approach of the bass clarinet, further developing the instrument’s capability to produce not only exact quartertones, but also smaller units: eighth-tones and 31-tones. The ‘root-overtone’ microtonality of the bass clarinet is explored as well, using the natural overtones which can be generated on top of roots, as a means to create more microtonal variants, often in the form of nano tones. The numerous fingering patterns that are the outcome of this research have been documented in the appendices. All these fingering patterns are shown in combined audio/video recordings. Instruction and demonstration videos clarify the different subjects of this research. Audio recordings illustrate the use of the microtonal bass clarinet playing in the pieces which were the result of the collaboration with several interested composers. The findings are also applied in a number of compositions of the author. The extension of the bass clarinet’s microtonal possibilities presented here will allow bass clarinettists, composers and other instrumentalists to inform and enrich their creative processes.
In Luganda, the widest spoken minority language in Uganda, the word for photographs is 'ebifananyi'. However, 'ebifananyi' does not, contrary to the etymology of the word photographs, relate to light writings. 'Ebifananyi' instead means things that look like something else. 'Ebifananyi' are likenesses.
This research project of Andrea Stultiens explores the historical context of this particular conceptualisation of photographs and its consequences for present day visual culture in Uganda. It also discusses the artistic practice as research method, which led to the digitisation of numerous historical collections of photographs. This resulted in eight books and in exhibitions that took place in Uganda and in Europe.
The research was conducted in collaboration with both human and non-human actors. These actors included photographs, their owners, Ugandan picture makers and visitors to the exhibitions that were organised in Uganda and Western Europe. This methodology led to insights into differences in the production and uses of, and into meanings given to, photographs in both Ugandan and Dutch contexts.
Understanding differences between ebifananyi and photographs shapes the communication about photographs between Luganda and English speakers. Reflection on the conceptualisations languages offer for objects and for sensible aspects of the surrounding world helps prevent misunderstandings in communication in general.
The research is dedicated to Gilbert Blin’s work in staging operas of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Nourished by a decade of productions for the Boston Early Music Festival, the first objective of his dissertation is to enable a better understanding of both his creative and interpretive processes in the operatic field. The main research question he attempts to answer in his dissertation can be phrased as follows: how can a post-modern stage director use historical research for creative purposes?
The title of this dissertation, The Reflections of Memory, is the appellation Gilbert Blin has been giving to his current approach as an artist and constitutes a conceptual answer to this question.
This thesis of Magda Pucci presents the research process behind the project Rupestres Sonoros, by the São Paulo-based musical group Mawaca, that recreated indigenous Brazilian songs, and the Cantos da Floresta tour of the Amazon, involving an intercultural exchange with six different indigenous groups. The thesis also addresses the projects’ outcomes, such as the publication of didactic books, creation of websites, workshops and new projects that seek to shed light on indigenous musical expressions. The thesis is about the journey of going up on stage, organizing intercultural activities, producing books, records and videos that transformed Pucci
and Mawaca, in a postmodern context, into artists that create in order to help raise awareness on the current political issues concerning the indigenous communities in Brazil. The purpose of this thesis is to reveal how music performance and research can be conducted by “anthropophagizing” knowledge, that is, consuming from a broad range of cultural sources, regurgitating and reinventing multicultural musicalities.
The artistic practice of Riccardo Giacconi deals with documents and, more specifically, with the use and the exploration of their narrative potential. This dissertation is about three different cycles of artworks Giacconi produced as part of the research project. The notion of animation inheres in each of the three case studies: – Case 1 focuses on my artworks about Simone Pianetti (1858-?), an Italian mass murderer who escaped and disappeared, and who then became a puppet character, animated as a stock character.– Case 2 focuses on Augusto Masetti (1888-1966), an Italian soldier who shot at his superior officer and declared not to remember having done it, as if in a state of ecstatic possession, as if animated by an external entity. Mainly using publications and workshops, Giacconi produced a series of artworks related to legal, medical and anarchist records on his case.– Case 3 follows the appearance of a puppet character in Colombia, el espiritado, and its supposed connections to the Masetti case. Giacconi describes a series of artistic works the author produced, starting from a puppet script about the self-destruction of a village, which can be read as a commentary on puppetry, anarchism and animation.
This dissertation of Joost Grootens explores the question of what contemporary mapmaking practices can reveal about the ever-evolving field of graphic design.
The shift towards digital modes of production has fundamentally changed the field of graphic design, to the extent that a clear distinction between the producers and users of visual information no longer exists. The evaluation of graphic design’s recent developments is too strongly focused on what happened to the persona of the graphic designer. In this research an alternative model is introduced that focuses on the technologies that have shaped the field.
Graphic design and cartography have different origins and concerns, but their contemporary practices have much in common. In this research, cartography is considered a testing ground to understand the transformations of graphic design. Adopting notions from post-representational cartography, three mapmaking practices of amateurs and technology companies were selected to survey, analyse and test that transformation.
The dissertation contains of a series of visualizations that embody an alternative documentation of the research. The development of alternative and complementary languages is considered to be an essential aspect of artistic research. This parallel visual documentation of the research questions the discursive text, and all the prejudices and histories contained within it.
Musicians spend a significant amount of time practicing. Over the years, intuitions and understandings accumulate that may be difficult not only to share, but also to make sense of.
'Musika', a research by Stanimira Withers, is an exercise in musical metaphysics, which attempts to articulate and contextualize some of these intuitions and understandings, expanding the territory on which thinking about music is familiarly performed. With the presumption that consciousness is fundamental, this dissertation proposes that music is a form of consciousness, which enters in a mutualistic relationship with sentients to acquire experience and to propagate its evolution. ‘Musika’ is defined as a consciousness organization cultivating sound-based forms and intelligences.
Incorporating and integrating insights from physics, philosophy and psychology with a cultural-musicological attitude, 'Musika' is concerned with contextualizing and validating the artistic experience and its practice-derived tacit knowledge. A contribution to the fields of philosophy of music and music ontology, and specifically, to the musicological discourse of musical meaning, the study explores how music and consciousness trace the same fundamental process of evolution, constructing different information-based realities.
Research by Issa Boulos.
Before 1936, musical practices in Palestine relied heavily on colloquial poetry, especially in rural communities, which constituted most of the population. During the first half of the twentieth century, Palestinian music evolved as a reflection of the social, cultural, and political evolution of Palestinians. Palestinian music-making evolved exponentially resulting in the expansion of various folk tunes into shaʿbī songs, the creation of the Palestinian qaṣīda song genre, new compositions of instrumental music for traditional and Western music formations, the establishment of choirs and children music programing, and active engagement in composing in the styles of the dominant Egyptian genres of the time as well as muwashshaḥāt.
In 1948, the vast majority of Palestinians were displaced, and musicians found themselves at the frontier of implementing new political and cultural visions in the countries of Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. Therefore, the continuation of the musical narrative in the West Bank did not seem attainable. By the early 1950s, Palestinian musicians and intellectuals developed a vocabulary that reflected the topography, scenery, culture, dialects, and history of al-Mashriq, one that is independent of Egypt’s. Their input, intuition, experience, and convictions of various Palestinian musicians helped to make the music scene in Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan what they are today.
At present, historically-informed performance (HIP) functions simultaneously as an established musical tradition and as a method for artistic inquiry and renewal. HIP’s capacity to effect change within artistic practice is, however, constrained by its own doxa. This study of Mark Edwards therefore asks the question: what kinds of new practices might have once been, and might still become possible without the influence of the work-concept? Using the keyboard music of Jacques Champion de Chambonnières as its central case study, this dissertation proposes understanding a piece’s fluid range of identities using the concept of mouvance, conceived as a kind of variance that arises within performances and is acknowledged by cultural participants (audiences and performers). Moreover, this study attempts to re-create this practice of mouvance by also re-creating the improvisational practice upon which mouvance relied. To that end, it adapts and extends existing research on historical improvisation (particularly studies of partimento) using techniques from computational musicology. It puts forward an “inductive” approach to style re-creation and improvisation pedagogy in which techniques and procedures are extrapolated from highly specific repertoires. Through mouvance, this study thus offers a new and historically-informed approach for applying the insight gained through improvisational practice to the creative performance of historical repertoires.