Hacking: a Creative, Practice-Based Approach to Performance
Reflecting on established approaches to musical interpretation, I realized that they traditionally involve an almost inflexible hierarchy between “composer”, “performer”, and “audience”. Specifically, performers reproduce what composers have previously written on paper and, by producing sounds, convey “messages” to the audience. Apart from minor interpretative details, there is no room for the performer to question and, possibly, to diverge from the original interpretation intended by composers. However, what other possibilities do performers have to deal with the material they are working on? To what extent can interpretation deviate from the “original text” and, at the same time, avoid losing track of the aforementioned messages? In other words, how can performers include creativity in the process of interpretation?
These questions, as well as others, led me to ponder on the potential that the impact of performers can have in the process of musical interpretation. It was at this time that Hacking, understood as a form of artistic manipulation that fosters creativity during the interpretative processes, entered mypractice. My artistic research methodology is based on the approach developed by McClure, Scambray & Kurtz in the “Hacking Manifesto” – “Hacking Exposed. Network Security Secrets & Solutions” – from computer science, which has been appropriately brought into the musical context. In “Hacking – a creative, practice-based approach to performance”, hosted at ARTikulationen 2022 as part of the Intermezzi series, I intend to show some of the infinite and unexplored potential that hacking has in approaching a score. By playing some excerpts from the original version of Casey Cangelosi’s Tap Oratory and comparing them with corresponding excerpts from the version I refer to as “hacked”, I aim to display the purpose of such a profound, while respectful, intrusion into Cangelosi’s work. Contrary to what one might think, it is not about damage the piece but to re- interpret it, enhancing the possible interpretations hidden beneath, or around, the surface of the score. As can be observed, hacking pushed my artistic language away from the classical-percussive area, seeking performative and interdisciplinary approaches.
Internal Supervisors and External Advisors: Marko Ciciliani (KUG), André Doehring (KUG), Jennifer Torrence (Norwegian Academy of Music Oslo)