A substantially different version of this text has been published (in norwegian) in the book Dobbeltliv (Oslo, Cappelen Damm: 2012)

Body and Site

Reading Kwon, thinking of Gould

It is a simple fact that the composer has to deal with the body of the musician. Lots of bodies, lots of people. Four people in a string quartet. Fifteen people in a sinfonietta. A hundred people in a symphony orchestra. Highly skilled professionals, well educated, carefully selected, often with many years of experience, week after week after week playing the great classics and the occasional new work. The institution of classical music is not only a frame for aesthetic conventions; it is the embodiment of convention, localized in the people playing the music.

As with bodies everywhere, there are certain relations between these bodies and their places of action; the body of the musician is where the production of music unfolds. The body is both an intermediary between composer and listener and a producer of meaning in its own right. It is a prosthetic extension of the listener’s own body in the act of listening, and vice versa, the listening body is an externalisation of the performer’s own listening. The functioning logic and conventions of the performing forces of the musical institution is embodied in the musician. If you want to work with notated music in live performance, the body of the musician is indispensible, doubling as both interpretational artist in its own right and an interface to the instruments’ abilities. Needless to say, the complexity of this process of communication has lead many a composer to the end of her wits with frustration. In order to circumnavigate the strange combination of rigor and contingency of classical musical culture, many composers have abandoned the institution in order to work with very specific situations in terms of people and bodies. Some composers prefer to work with a limited and constant group of performers, scrutinizing the structures of people and ideas with sociological or even anthropological inclinations. Others have turned to the self-sufficiency of electronic means of performance and distribution.

But all of these bodily-situated practices can be taken as a starting point to address the idea of the site in relation to music. In “Excavation, Exhumation, Autopsy”, I have already started to discuss the orchestral work as a situated practice, and a look at the genealogy of site-specific art can prove useful to clarify a couple of points.



When site-specific art emerged in the late sixties, it intensified the new relations between spectator and art object that was established by minimal art. In One Place After the Other Miwon Kwon describes a three-stage development of site-specific (or site-oriented) art: Beginning with phenomenological investigations of physical space, artists like Daniel Buren or Michael Asher moved to sites constituted through social, economical and political processes of the art-institutions. In Kwon’s words, to be ‘specific’ to such a site “is to decode and/or recode the institutional conventions so as to expose their hidden operations – to reveal the way in which institutions mould art’s meaning to modulate its cultural and economic value[.]”[1] In further development in the nineties, the nomadic artist/artwork started to engage in public, institutional or virtual relationships with a fluid, discursive notion of site. Contemporary artistic projects tend to focus on this third and ‘late’ form of site-orientation, but I will argue that the earlier forms, the phenomenological and institutional, are of particular interest in the context of music. Primarily because they have worked through problems that the musical institution to a little degree has been confronted with; what may be regarded as tired and evacuated institutional critique in the arts might prove to have validity in the contemporary field of music. Here, the paradigm of autonomy and consequent self-referential withdrawal has to a little degree been confronted. The way site-specific work in its earliest formation focused on establishing physical relationships between the work and its site could be a point of departure for such a confrontation. Likewise the subsequent expansion of the notion of site, to something constituted through historical, political and social processes. In fact, the conditions of music institutions are not at all remote to these ways of thinking: The physicality of minimal art, already touched upon in its relation to the body, also deflected meaning from the object to the space of presentation and thus challenged the ‘objectivity’ and ‘neutrality’ of the institutional space itself. According to Kwon, Michael Asher in his contribution to the 73rd American Exhibition “revealed the sites of exhibition or display to be culturally specific situations that generate particular expectations and narratives regarding art and art history”. This is exactly what I’m aiming for in Standing Stones, with respect to the concert hall as site of exhibition. The ‘non-neutrality’ of the gilded shrine of the concert hall is so obvious to modern eyes that it perhaps for that reason has been overlooked. But if one adapted Daniel Buren’s dictum on the museum to the concert hall, it would challenge new works of music in profound ways, even though it was stated almost forty years ago: “Any work presented in that framework, if it does not explicitly examine the influence of the framework upon itself, falls into the illusion of self-sufficiency–or idealism.[2]

One might say that this is a motivating force behind pieces like, say, Kagels Staatstheater.[3] But this de-idealization would also, recursively, ‘bind’ the listener to the here-and-now of the concert hall, to let the listener discover him- or herself as physical presence in this place. This is the opposite of idealized acousmatic listening where the physical and phenomenological origin of sound is to be disregarded.[4] Experiencing the physical, real body of the performer is, in its way, to discover ones own body in listening. One could describe this as a process where the acute state between musicians’ bodies and their instruments is repeated in the experience of listening in a shared place with the musician.

This also highlights the peculiar mode of the live musical work: Its possibility of addressing both physical space in the bodily experience of listening, and the culturally specific ‘situation-site’ of the event. The musical institution is both a physical space encompassing an encounter between bodies of musicians and listeners in actual sound, and a site of politics, history and production of meaning. Furthermore, the concert allows for the synchronicity of physical and discursive place, of space and time. The synchronicity of sound is the embodiment of an idea caught between its discursive and its physical aspects.



Miwon Kwon critiques the commodification of later site-specific practices that represent criticality rather than performing it. The nomadic artist, travelling from ‘site’ to ‘site’, is undoing the assumption of criticality associated with the immobility, permanence and unrepeatability of the early site-specific works. Kwon shows how the belief in places as reservoir of unique identity and production of ‘difference’ have been utilized in quasi-promotional agendas of cities, urban developments etc.[5] This coincides with the re-emergence of artist as progenitor of meaning, as ‘narrator-protagonist’ in a complex ‘story’ of place and difference. The myth of the artist and the belief in places as reservoir of unique identity converge to mask the collapse of either side of the equation.

Kwon describes the shift from artist as a labourer, a producer of objects to a service-provider/managerial function. From factory worker to travelling salesman. Travelling artists on call, delivering ‘criticality-on-demand’ seem not unlike the orchestral conductor or soloist, moving from orchestra to orchestra to erect temporal musical monuments. But there’s a big difference: The latter do not pretend to deliver criticality: What they deliver is ‘greatness’, ‘genius’ and ‘authenticity’. Not the (supposed) authenticity of place, but of the capital-W Work and its almost as capitalized Interpreter. The commodified performative aspect of the nomadic artist’s mode of operation is the same that the travelling menagerie of orchestral superstars has provided since the days of Gustav Mahler.

It was precisely this menagerie that the pianist Glenn Gould dropped out of when he announced that he was giving up touring in 1964, at the age of 32. This was a scandalous shock to the musical world, practically unprecedented in the business of classical music. Gould’s anti-spectacular withdrawal was in fact a spectacular gesture of defiance to the spectacle. Word-games aside, this decision that confounded so many at the time is easy to understand when we consider Gould’s relationship with place. One thing is that his withdrawal, deciding to work exclusively in the confinement of his recording studio, was his way of circumnavigating the contingency of conductors, orchestras, audiences and instruments. But the relation to place is more profound. Emblematic of this is his relation to the low, sawed-off chair that his father had modified, which he had used since childhood. He dragged the chair around the world with him, insisting on never sitting on anything than that old, battered thing when he played.[6] We can read this chair as a token of his ties to a physical place amid the nomadism of being a touring soloist. It also encompasses his relation to his instrument; he had been playing on the same piano since 1960 (albeit reconstructed after falling off a truck in 1973; His deep relationship with this instrument is highlighted by the fact that he started to play in slower tempi after its rebuilding with subsequent heavier action of the mechanism.) He often toured with his own piano, but the chair is an even more potent symbol (or symptom) of how he tried to travel around with a bit of place with him. I like to imagine that his withdrawal was prophesied by that chair. In Jonathan Cott’s Conversations with Glenn Gould, Gould tells a story that sheds some light on his relation to the places of music. It’s worth quoting at some length:

[…] It involved a time in Tel Aviv – the fall of 1958, in fact – and I was giving a series of concerts on an absolutely rotten piano, the manufacturer of which shall be left unnamed […] So on the afternoon of the first of that series of concerts, I’d gone through a miserable rehearsal at which I played like a pig because this piano had finally gotten to me. I was playing on its terms. I had “put it on,” as Mr. McLuhan would say, and I was really very concerned because I simply couldn’t play a C-major scale properly. I was incapable, apparently, of responding on any terms but those which were immediately presented to me through the medium of that piano.

[…] And I went out to a sand dune and decided that the only thing that could possibly save this concert was to re-create the most admirable tactile circumstance I knew of.

[…] So I sat in ye sand dune and decided to imagine myself back in my living room …  and first of all to imagine the living room, which took some doing because I had been away from it for three months at this point. And I tried to imagine where everything was in the room, then visualize the piano, and – this sounds ridiculously yogistic, I’d never done it before in precisely these terms … but so help me it worked.

Anyway, I was sitting in the car, looking at the sea, got the entire thing in my head and tried desperately to live with that tactile image throughout the balance of the day. I got to the auditorium in the evening, played the concert, and it was without question the first time that I’d been in a really exalted mood throughout my stay there – I was absolutely free of commitment to that unwieldy beast.[7]


This story opens up to all kinds of notions about music making and place. What’s of particular interest to me is something Kwon would define as an experience of being in the ‘wrong’ place, a concept arising from a discussion on Don De Lillo’s novel Valparaiso.[8] In Kwon’s reading the experience of the ‘wrong’ place may give the individual a possibility to confront certain existential issues that would otherwise be hidden from the self. I think Gould’s example shows another mode ‘wrongness’, being a catalyst for enhancing (or even discovering) mental capacities.

After Glenn Gould’s grand gesture of giving up concert performances, he withdrew to the recording studio and a relatively immobile life-situation; first in New York, then in Toronto. Along with his eccentric persona and the rich roster of neuroses and subsequent chemical self-medication, this choice has proven fertile grounds for speculation and psychologization, to which I have hereby chipped in my two coins. But in the end, the withdrawal from the nomadism of concert-life was probably a means of survival for Gould. A way to be able to continue to develop his art without having to obey the laws of production and dissemination of the industry of classical music. (By the same token, Gould experimented with and developed the studio as an instrument in its own right, as one of the few classical musicians that explored the possibilities of multitrack recording parallel with the technological development in popular music throughout the seventies and eighties.) Miwon Kwon discusses, albeit in passing, the existential implications of the fact that in spite of discursive sites and fictional selves and whatnot, our adherence to actual places persist – and not necessarily for lack of theoretical refinement.[9]

According to Kwon, the hidden attractor behind the ubiquity of site-oriented art is the uniqueness of place, its production of difference. This difference, initially part of a critical discourse, may very well be commodified as ‘difference’.[10] In the discourse of classical musical, difference is in the interpretation – the work is basically the same, drawn from a finite repertoire of canonical pieces. But the difference of interpretation may very well be a false difference, in that both orchestral and soloist playing have become so streamlined that there is very little room for individuality (let alone eccentricity) and curiousness in approaches to interpretation. This is commodification of performative practices in the guise of ‘tradition’ (which really amounts to ‘a collection of bad habits’, according to Arthur Schnabel.[11] The layers of rigid tradition also serve to veil a crucial aspect in meeting with the site of music: Site does not exist prior to cultural forms introduced to or emerging from it. To re-animate the site of music, to make it come alive, one needs a certain friction of opposing forces. And in my context of inquiries into the place of music, interpretations are of interest to the extent that they go against the grain of expectation and habit.

Much has been said about Glenn Gould in this respect, and his relation to place is not as commented as his relation to the musical score. Let it suffice to say on this occasion that he dared to follow unacceptable ideas, way beyond notions of ‘good taste’, in his interpretation of the musical canon. (His recordings of Mozart may serve as an example – and indeed his view of canon itself is one that displays much eccentricity.) He was also interested in other performers that had the same let us call it speculative approach to the possibilities of interpretation. (The only two musicians he portrayed in his radio documentaries were Pablo Casals and Leopold Stokowski.[12] But we were talking about the re-animation of the musical site, and Glenn Gould’s recording of Brahms’ Piano Concerto no.1 with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic is exemplary, almost to the extent that you’d think it was some kind of staged antagonism going on.[13] What happened was that Bernstein went on stage and addressed the audience with a disclaimer, distancing himself from the interpretation of Mr. Gould (which, among other choices involved playing the Maestoso-movement in half the indicated tempo.) All was said in a gentle and friendly tone, but only the fact that he openly disagreed, and in passing also touched upon the complex power-relation between conductor and soloist, charges the situation with both antagonism and questions of hierarchy. This, in turn, opens the performance up to an acuteness in terms of listening, with a sensation that something is really at stake here, in the temporal unfolding of the music before our ears; And Brahms’ Concerto is revealed as something much more than a battered old showpiece – it becomes a battle ground for a dialectic between different readings, even different ontologies of the work itself. This stroke of genius from Bernstein makes the orchestral site a place for surprise, for opposing forces, for sustained tension that may be left unresolved, both for the listeners and the performers. So the question is: Could Gould’s interpretative praxis be labelled critical?

Bernstein’s disclaimer is even on the commercial recording of the occasion, appearing on the track list as pre-concert disclaimer, as if it was an integral part of the interpretation. The recording has a very live ambience, not only created by Bernstein’s pre-concert speech and Gould’s customary humming; there is also a richness of coughing from the audience that is not often heard in classical recordings. The fragile, delicate Adagio, for instance, is virtually penetrated by audience sounds, to such an extent that even in a present-day solipsistic listening-mode, individually connected via headphones to our iPods and ingesting our music intravenously, we find ourselves in a community of listeners. We become aware that we are only one among a host of listening bodies, most of which are long dead and gone. We are part of an audience of phantom bodies, a historical continuity of playing, listening (and coughing).

I find this listening so fascinating that it is one of the motivations of incorporating old recordings in the sampler-part of Standing Stones, to envelop the audience in the symphonic hall in a vertical historical space of sounds emitted and captured on the same site, but in other times and by other bodies. These sounds, in the looping-system I create, also become part of the musical texture, the body of musical sound. I’m not quite sure why I find these audience-sounds so interesting, but I think it has something to do with my own memory of the first time I heard the Gould-recording and what I remember most vividly was not the interpretation but the intense audience-participation making the musical experience a truly social one.


So, rare as it may be, it is possible to locate a sense of friction or resistance in the interpretative business of music making. But the task of providing subversion is mainly ascribed to the composer. Kwon’s pungent description of the artist-as-service-provider is no less accurate here than in the arts. But the role of new music has not become spectacular in the same way as new art in the institution – instances like the franchised Guggenheim, The Gehry-museum in Bilbao or site-specific work as regional branding and touristic development. The role of the composer has surely become more nomadic with the ever-increasing emphasis on premieres in orchestras, ensembles and festival. The abundance of co-commissions also increases the frequent flyer points of composers, as they are expected to take part in the first performance(s) of their work. Many composers also travel with their work because they have to: either because they are inscribed in the work, explicitly, as performers, or implicitly, as instructor for new playing-techniques, electronic parts etc. 

But there are no superstar-composers the like of e.g. Damien Hirst or Anne Sofie Mutter. The spectacle of the musical institution is one of interpretation, not creation. The important selling point for the orchestras’ marketing departments is always soloists and conductors. What composers do provide is political legitimacy, both as sought-after ‘subversivity’ (art is supposed to ‘challenge’ and ‘provoke’ us) and a gloss of newness and experimentalism (art is the spearhead of ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’.) This is more often than not mere rhetoric, spun around works safely adapted to the institutional frame. Composers, taken hostage by the institution, seem to have developed a collective Stockholm syndrome and identify totally with our capturers. So the question is how this adaptation of site-specific thinking could be done, even if it could be done in the place of music without dulling the edges of its critique like Kwon has described. I’ll have to point to my musical works, the actual musical making, for further ‘debate’ on my own behalf. But before describing a couple of other contemporary practices that suggests possible relations of music, body and space, I would like to point to an article by the composer John Croft. It is called “Fields of Rubble: On the Poetics of Music after Postmodernism”, the title itself evoking the image of after-ness that I have described in “Excavation, Exhumation, Autopsy”. Croft quotes Frederic Jameson’s proposal of a ‘cognitive mapping’ in which art takes on a broadened quasi-pedagogical role of ‘disalienating’ the subject. It “involves the practical reconquest of a sense of place and the construction or reconstruction of an articulated ensemble which can be retained in memory and which the individual subject can map and remap along the moments of mobile, alternative trajectories”. [14] Croft takes this (Jameson originally discussing disorientation in the postmodern city) as a cue, and proposes a notion of mimesis that reconquers the relation between subject and environment, whether spatial, cultural or historical. (We are not talking about mimesis as immediate identification, but in the sense of Marcuse’s ‘representation through estrangement’.[15] Croft regards subjectivity as a biological fact connected to the individual as the nexus for this reconquest, and uses the work of Salvatore Sciarrino to exemplify three mimetic strands. The first is an environmental mimesis, a device of nature-sound imagery we find in many of Sciarrino’s pieces. The second is a bodily, visceral mimesis, the acute rendering we find in a piece like Lo Spazio Inverso,[16] of “the rotating swish of bodily streams, the scarping wheeze where arteries bend.” [17] The last strand is appearances of musical pasts, the materiality of e.g. trills etc. from early baroque vocal style without its original context.[18] This is not a rendering of the past as empty signifiers, but an exposure of materiality that surpasses the semiotic.[19] This last point is crucial, since it points to a notion of music transmitted as energy/material rather than referent/content, which is an important distinction in Crofts discussion. My question is if it is not possible to think these perspectives together, to weave these mimetic strands into a music that is both energy and referent. I believe I accomplish something to this effect in my rendering of the repeated Mahler chord in the 3rd movement of Standing Stones; after serving as a referent in an explicit mimetic/pedagogical game between historical performances (from loudspeakers) and the actual live orchestra on stage, the repeated chord, processed between original and distorted versions, become a material, physical reality in its own, re-contextualized right. This dual perspective might be a way to abolish the “gap between the thing to be transmitted and the act of transmission” that Giorgio Agamben describes – and that Croft locates in the identity between the energetics of a past music and the demands of new music.[20]



There are many examples of historical works of music that are made in response to a specific location and/or situation. Giovanni Gabrieli’s Canzonas for the galleries of the San Marco is one example. John Dowland’s intimate lute-pieces for the bedside of the insomniac King of Denmark is another. Musicologists argue that Bach’s large choral works and certain of Haydn’s symphonies were tailored for the acoustic situations of Thomaskirche in Leipzig and the Great Hall at Ezterháza Castle, respectively.[21] Richard Wagner turned the tables with his opera house in Bayreuth: It is a place built for a specific music, not the other way around (Parsifal was his only work composed with the acoustics of Bayreuth in mind).

In recent times, the idea of the Work as an autonomous art-object has prevailed in most quarters of new music, autonomous to the degree that music effectively has uprooted itself from its bonds to its sites and situations. (Although even Adorno, the gatekeeper of autonomy, has identified the music of symphonic form as a amalgam of site, occasion and musical content where the auratic prescence of the full musical experience would include both socially contingent and bodily experienced features.[22] Nevertheless, there are many practitioners working with different modalities of site-orientation. The first present-day composer that comes to mind in this context is Benedict Mason. With a background in filmmaking from London’s Royal College of Art, Mason (b.1954) has worked with way music is expressed and experienced through architectural space or urban landscapes. He is working with questions of distance, proximity, movement and directionality in a spatio-musical context. A recent example is his Music for Oslo City Hall, where the audience traversed the monumental halls, staircases and chambers of Oslo City Hall while ensembles, choirs and soloists were performing in different locations. So the musical forms were dictated by the physical movements of the audience, and the acoustic sensations often aiming at experiences of distance (e.g. people passing open doors of chambers where musicians were playing, without being able to enter the rooms.) This way of establishing the artwork in the interstices between the audience and the ‘object’ is reminding of strategies in minimal art, and indeed Mason himself has made the connection with fine arts in comparing his work with installations, utilizing space and sound in a sculptural way.[23]

A composer with a related, but very different project, is James Saunders (b.1972). From 2000 to 2009 he worked on a project entitled #[unassigned]. In this work, each version is composed for a specific performance and normally only performed once. On his website, Saunders calls this


an ongoing modular composition which takes Lacan’s notion of ‘rings of a necklace that is a ring in another necklace made of rings’ as a starting point. The piece is flexible in its construction, with modules being detachable, and appearing in different versions. For example, a version for violin, clarinet and cello may share common units with a version for cello and tuba. The generic title for the whole project is #[unassigned], however individual versions of the piece use the date in the form #ddmmyy to derive the specific title (for example, a version performed on 3 February 2004 is titled #030204). The title is therefore unique to the individual performance.[…] Each version is a bespoke composition for the performers, and it allows me to embrace unusual and interesting situations as I work (for example, using non-standard or rare instruments, different performance spaces, or variable levels of performer ability). There is no definitive score or version of the piece as all display different possibilities within the boundaries of the project. I am essentially writing one piece which is always different. The whole #[unassigned] project aims to explore how a change of context or synchronization affects the way we perceive events, and how we derive meaning from this.[24]

Where Masons work addresses a physical site in spectacular ways, Saunders’ approach is low-key. As the naming-structure suggests, it is more about temporality and the open-endedness of the work-in-progress than about the physicality of place and movement. However, in recent work, Saunders also incorporates notions of the social and a possible combination of mobilization and specificity in his series of ‘Distribution Studies’. He takes decentralized and self-organising networks as model for compositions made for personal, distributed performance where audiences will receive scores with instructions for their own performances of it – thereby establishing physical relations between spectator and art object to the extent that the spectators are the actual practitioners/performers of the work.[25] In Distribution Study no.8, commissioned for the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich in 2011, Saunders aimed at catalyzing an emergent score distribution network in the following fashion: “Individually numbered copies of the score are made freely available to visitors, who may distribute them to willing recipients, who may in turn do the same. These exchanges are mapped via a website, showing the way in which interpersonal communication networks can shape the dissemination of information.”[26]

This seems to me to be pretty much in line with Miwon Kwon’s open-ended predicament of current site-oriented practices. She points to a terrain between mobilisation and specificity – an effort to address the distances between places, to regard places as next to each other (as opposed to after one another) and the idea of being in the ‘wrong’ place with precision and attention.[27] All of this demands an ability to think contradictions, in particular our contradictory desires, together. If the places we traverse should not become serialized and unified, we need a relational specificity that can hold the tension, dialectically, between the poles of mobility and specificity (to paraphrase Kwon rather freely.)[28]

As Saunders’ work shows, the spatio-temporal unity of musical performance can be an interesting context in which to address this situation. Let me propose the musical performance as one of the few places where you are required to be in the same space, physically immobile, exerting attention to one thing over a certain time span. It can give you that strange, surreal feeling of unmediated experience. Yes, I am aware that this is not an exclusive domain of music. The theatre, for instance, require some of the same attention-skills.[29] But when you think about it, there are not many social places left where this is possible. (This would be a good place for a rant about social media and the way it distorts our ability to be fully connected to the actual place we’re in. I’ll skip that part just now.) A novel is a private experience where time can be disrupted; you can read in your own tempo, put the book down and pick it up again at will. Film has the communal dimension, but the time structure is locked; it doesn’t have the open-ended vulnerability of a live musical performance. Listening to radio, you can turn it off or tune in to another station. In most gallery-oriented performances the audience is free to come and go as they wish. The sit-down-shut-up-and-listen of music is not required.

This requirement/potentiality is one of music’s great assets. It has to do with singularity in the time of hyper-connectivity and hyper-documentation,[30] an experience of acuteness of time and the ways it is connected with physical space and your bodily presence in it. And it has to do with attention.[31] The simple yet difficult concept of exerting attention and awareness somehow harmonizes with the concept of communal listening, not least the active stance of listening required by new music. Without becoming all didactic here, it must be possible to state that this mode of listening offers to create a fermata in the middle of a system of motion, a sense of being in a physical here-and-now of the listening body. We are listening bodies together with other listening bodies in an actual place in the same irreversible flow of time. This is the ecstasy of music.



[1] The following quotes are from Miwon Kwon, One Place After the Other (Cambridge, Massachusetts/London: MIT press, 2002) pp.13-19.

[2] Daniel Buren, “The Function of the Museum”, in Artforum (Sept. 1973). Quoted in Kwon, p.13.

[3] Mauricio Kagel, Staatstheater. (Wien: Unicersal edition, 1971)

[4] Acousmatic music is a concept widely subscribed to in electro-acoustic music, named after the Greek term of listening to something behind a curtain, where you cannot identify the source of the sound.

[5] Kwon, op. cit. pp.50-55.

[6] Fun-fact: The chair is now on display in a glass case in the National Library of Canada.

[7] Jonathan Cott, Conversations with Glen Gould (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984) pp.33-34.

[8] See Kwon, p.160-164.

[9] Kwon, op. cit., p.165.

[10] Kwon, op. cit. p.157.

[11] Quoted in Cott, op. cit.

[12] See Cott, op. cit p.155.

[13Gould/ Bernstein/New York Philharmonic, Brahms Piano Concerto no.1 (Sony, 1998 [1962])

[14] See John Croft, “Fields of Rubble: On the Poetics of Music after the Postmodern” in Björn Heile (ed): The Modernist Legacy: Essays on New Music (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009)

[15] Croft, op. cit. p.31.

[16] Salvatore Sciarrino, Lo spazio inverso (Milano: Ricordi, 1985)

[17] Croft, op. cit. p.33.

[18] See for instance Luci mie traditrici (Milano: Ricordi, 1998)

[19] The emphasis of de-contextualized, gestural corporeality in this ‘mimetic strand’ links it closely to Helmut Lachenmann’s stagings of new relations between musician’s bodies and their instruments.

[20] Croft, op. cit. pp.37-38.

[21] See Matt Malsky, “Fantasy and the Concert Hall”, in Reconstruction: A Journal of Cultural Studies (Winter 2004/4.1)

[22] See Malsky, op. cit. pp.1-3 for a summary of Adornos writing on technological mediation vs. the ‘prescence’ of the concert hall.

[23] See Thomas Berg, “I rådhushall og bøttekott”, Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival (Festival newspaper, Oslo Sept. 2010)

[24] (accessed 08.03.2012)

[25] Interestingly, the pop icon Beck has recently done something of the same: His new ‘album’ Song Reader is released as sheet music only, twenty new and unrecorded songs published by faber and faber. The press statment says that “if you want to hear [the songs], bringing them to life depends on you, the reader.” An example of a major player in the music industry elegantly turning the tables on music-as-consumer-culture, utilizing an obsolete technology and being in the ‘wrong’ place – at once. In the words of columnist Robin Turner: “is releasing a song collection that fans actually have to make themselves one of the last truly original moves left for an artist?” (www.thequietus.com)

[26] www.escalierduchant.org/08/distribution-study-8/ (accessed 08.03.2012)

[27] Another mode of self-organization and mapping of individual movements in physical locations can be found in Simon Steen-Andersen’s project SoundTAG (www.soundtag.info).

[28] see Kwon, op cit. chapter 6.

[29] opera director Stefan Herheim puts it this way in an interview: “Today, the art of opera is alive through its immediate and unique “here and now”, through its vulnerability as an exclusive and fugitive art of the moment. […] I believe that it is this aspect of memento mori that sanctifies the theatre.” (Vagant, 4/2012 p.45, my translation)

[30] Non-documentation is a powerful strategy of difference, for instance utilized in the strictly undocumented performances of Tino Seghal.

[31] I am not talking about attention in its full philosphical scope here, merely applying the common usage of the term. For a full run-through of attention economy, attention as scientific area of study etc. we could turn to Crary. Which we won’t.