Thinking by Singing/ Singing by Thinking, or The art of Performing Translation through Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida’s concept of Acting-Intuition (last edited: 2022)

Elisabeth Laasonen Belgrano
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The aim of this paper is to present a performative encounter between a singing/thinking voice and the Japanese philosophical concept of Acting-Intuition proposed by Kitarō Nishida (1870-1945), founder of the Kyoto School (of Japanese Philosophy) around 1913. Departing from a vocal investigation of French composer Michel Lambert’s Leçons de Ténèbres (ca. 1664), the performer follows the thoughts crystallizing in the very act of singing. This intuitive act complies to Nishidas view of “our active engagement with our surroundings” and “never just the passivity of pure reception” (Krummel 2015:87). In the act of singing the singer and song are shaped along with the shaping of space itself. Thus, while singing a song and a space the singer is acted upon by both space and the song. In this way, acting-intuition proves to be a concrete mode of human existence in the world’s dynamism, providing a non-dual platform for determining human living. In the process of singing in a space along with an audience, the listeners are involved in the intuitive act and as well as in the translation process of incorporating ‘the other’ as well as “developing one’s identity” (Bouso 2016:112) The thinking by singing can thus be regarded as an experience of translating and transporting meaning from one place to another. Acting-Intuition can also be used a philosophical tool, for reminding us to “rethink our own linguistic categories, to reflect on ourselves at the same time as we reflect on others” (Bouso 2016:113). Applying Acting-Intuition as an artistic research methodology, might perhaps even help us re-envisioning a sense of trust and an “eternal link among all living beings, all beings in their aliveness, this shared transience, and the possibilities for renewal that follow downsfall”, allowing us to “facing the im/possibilities of living on a damaged planet” (Barad 2017:75).
typeresearch exposition
keywordsNishida, Acting-Intuition, singing, Voice, translation studies, thinking by singing, Lambert Michel, Kyoto school, nothingness, Barad
last modified18/02/2022
statusin progress
share statuspublic
affiliationNordic Network for Vocal Performance Research
licenseAll rights reserved

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424263 HelsinkiDomkyrkan9NovCopy EB2017 All rights reserved
424270 IMG_1243 EB2018 All rights reserved
424290 CouperinMysterieuseOnPhilosophers's Walk EB2017 All rights reserved
424310 Jerusalem142OF EB2017 All rights reserved

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