Unlike the previous ARC sessions, this session featured a series of pre-recorded video presentations which were available for access upon request only, and were deleted immediately after the session’s date.
Apart from the obvious challenge to document and reflect on this session’s content, I find that the absence of available material brings up an interesting challenge. While the process of re-looking at the documented audio and video material is “denied”, another idea, that of breaking existing classical music norms, which was at the spotlight during this session, is addressed. The absence of documentation suggests a different approach to the material. The ephemerality of the event itself is intensified, which is, in my opinion, also an important lesson to learn regarding classical music performances. Being forced to take into account not only the short-lived experience of playing or listening in the present moment, but also having to deal with the weight of recorded work and the existing documentation of the entire musical cannon, presents a problematic set of expectations and complex dilemmas – to performers and composers as much as to sound engineers, publishers, or any other member of the music industry. Certain paradigms which are taken for granted in the classical music world should be re-addressed, and, as this session suggested, other options, which are also more realistic in the current state of the cultural sector, are available.
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