Collaborative creative processes within the realm of Western Art Music are usually hidden and/or not actually collaborative at all. Vera John-Steiner (2000) defines ‘integrative collaboration’ as a working situation in which roles merge and a shared ideology and vision emerge through dialogue.


This artistic research project investigates to what extent intimacy is a condition for collaboration and what it means within music-making. Intimacy is newly defined as the play of affective, physical and emotional borders between people where our own sense of ourselves can be shaped.


By considering collaborative working as a compositional tool, intimacy becomes something that can be encouraged, indeed collaborative skills can be practiced. Through a variety of music-making projects in which I am project lead, composer and/or performer or composer-performer, I devise strategies for handing over power to my colleagues and harnessing their creativity such that they become co-creators rather than just interpreters. I investigate different approaches to intimacy within the domains of music and theatre.  I also reflect on my own development as a collaborator and attempt to create a set of principles for successful collaborative working.


A set of advantages to adopting a devised process have emerged and a new focus on the long-term potential of a group or partnership changes the context for collaboration. Understanding that a creative partnership is a tree and artistic products are the fruits of that tree has caused me to understand collaboration as multimodal, beyond the score, and made clear the options for the choices of values within collaboration.



Thanks to my supervisors Trond Reinholdtsen, Eivind Buene and Dickie Beau for their generosity and guidance.

This research has been carried out as part of an artistic research PhD at NMH.


Thanks to Bastard Assignments for their loyalty and enthusiasm, even throughout the pandemic.


Thanks to the rest of my collaborators in this research project, I admire you all so much. My life is all the richer because of you.


Special thanks for Steven Calver for proofing and to Aleksander Cornejo for his continued support throughout 2021.


Intimacy as a Condition for Collaboration