Ornamenting Words - Vocalizing Meaning: Artistic vocal performance research as a field ‘in between’. (last edited: 2017)

Elisabeth Laasonen Belgrano

About this exposition

This exposition proposes the 17th century ornament 'animer' as an agent in an entangled process of building new knowledge through artistic vocal research and a close reading of Bertrand de Bacilly’s ‘A commentary upon the Arts of Proper Singing’ (1968). A relationship between 17th century vocal ornamentation, the concepts of Nothingness and Je-ne-sais-quoi, and a distrust of the meaning of language has been pointed out in previous research (Calcagno 2003, Belgrano 2011). In this current investigation I search to understand how a specific vocal ornament can contribute intra-actively as part of an artistic research process. The study departs from a collection of Leçons de Ténèbres set to music by 17th century composer Michel Lambert. A selected fragment from these lessons is methodologically diffracted (Barad 2010) through vocal experimentation with the ornament animer. An ornament described as “certain almost imperceptible repetitions of notes done with the throat” (Bacilly 1968). The diffractive analysis includes other agents such as the city of Jerusalem, where vocal experiments were carried out in Aug 2014 (coloured by increased tension in the Middle East); words referring to the ‘fold’ (Deleuze 2006); the subtle listening into sensuous awareness of dwelling with/in the world (Yangisawa 2015); the relationship between music’s ineffability and various academic traditions and cultures of meaning-making and mattering (Abbate 2004). The result of this intra-active encounter captures a different sense of vocality materialised as poetic knowledge in sound and words. My hope is that this study can contribute to a debate on how artistic research as a field ‘in-between’ practice and theory, reason and imagination, cultures from East and West, can inspire to a sense of trust for the sake of relationality and possibly even for a better world. Paper presented at: The 20th Quinquennial Congress of the International Musicological Society Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo, Japan March 19-23, 2017
typeresearch exposition
last modified20/09/2017
statusin progress
share statuspublic
affiliationSinger /Independet researcher
licenseAll rights reserved

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