Sense and Sensibility, performing music by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (last edited: 2017)

Ingrid Eriksen Hagen

About this exposition

For Norwegian version, see the exposition "Fornuft og kjensle - å framføre musikk av Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach" Engaging in the complex and expressive music of Bach; on the clavichord, which is as intense and nuanced as it is delicate and soft in volume; aspiring to a musical empathy in which the performer and the listener jointly experience the true content and emotion of the music – spurs a craving for closeness and intimacy. But how close can we get? How close do we want to get? Close enough to hear the instrument. Close enough to understand what the music is telling us – to follow all the wonderful diversions – in close up. Deepest sincerity. Tender caresses. The rush of joy. The thought that could not be – could… be… – … But then the floor creaks. Someone turns round. I can’t hear it. Why is she playing so faintly? I don’t understand it. All those notes. So full on the whole time! So, who was that guy anyway – he lived a long time ago, right? These are the reflections in Ingrid E. Hagen’s research fellowship project. Based on my personal encounters with the music of Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) and his concepts of musical empathy, I worked on public mediation of his music, mainly on the clavichord. I have explored the tension that exists between intimacy and distance – and have experimented with different means of achieving that intimacy, and registered the resulting resistance to these experiments. I have reached out to people outside of the conventional concert setting, on a quest for the intimate interaction in the interests of empathic, shared experience of the music. I have performed Bach's music in the open air, at museums, for people who were not expecting to experience live music. I have investigated relationships between music and language; structural, stylistic and contextualising. Both in order to improve my own understanding and artistic empathy with the subject matter, and to investigate the ways in which different means of communicating and their use in musical mediation can influence experiences in various ways. Through this process, I became aware of the great extent to which different concert formats or other modes of presentation influence what audiences listen to in the music, and what they gain from it. I have worked intensively on a selection of Bach's keyboard music, and recorded the CD für Kenner und Liebhaber. Together with the final concert in November 2016, the CD represented the artistic results of my research fellowship. My artistic method has been a reflexive process in which questions are addressed in experiments, articulated in a dialogue with the study material, be it musical, literary or artistic experience, in a constant quest for intimacy; for getting closer. I organised this non-linear approach in the form of 'tracks', which allowed me to address multiple questions in parallel and as they intersected along the way. My research fellowship was undertaken at the Grieg Academy, Institute of Music, under the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and was funded by the University of Bergen. My supervisors were Professor Torleif Torgersen of the Grieg Academy, and Professor Maria Bania of the University College of Theatre and Music, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
typeresearch exposition
keywordsCPE Bach, clavichord, early music performance, Early music, earlymusic, empfindsamkeit, intimacy, concert setting, 18th century, 18th century fiction, HIP, sensitivity, music, musical expression, musical narration, musical communication, Musical Syntax
last modified15/11/2017
connected toFaculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen

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