Juliana Hodkinson / Danielle Sofer
Independent composer and researcher / University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, AT
Music in Transit: An Interactive Interview with Juliana Hodkinson
Day 2, 10 November, Orpheus Institute Concert Hall, 09:00–10:00
In the past, the conference format has enforced a separation between the concert hall and the presentation stage, and hence also between the composer, performer, and researcher; however, as those involved in music are surely aware, the fluidity between these roles—the many hats of musicking—can overwhelmingly complicate such clear-cut divisions. Given the new possibilities of distributing audio (digitally and even wirelessly), a musical analysis could plausibly be heard simultaneously with the very music it seeks to explore; such is the aim of this performance-presentation.
Juliana Hodkinson describes her compositional practice as a kind of sonic writing that oscillates between musical notation, composition for instruments and extramusical objects, and the creation of digital audio. Milk and metal, bells and drums, toys and politicians, silence and noise, news media and field recordings, strings and winds: pointillist references that lead the compositional work away from the limited signifying economy of internal ontological coherence toward an aesthetic of proliferating and dynamically emerging sonic and multi-sensorial contexts. Martin Heidegger (1971, 152) once said, “A boundary is not that at which something stops but, as the Greeks recognized, the boundary is that from which something begins its presencing.” Like a film or skin, this mesh is porous, and in the post-digital age such boundaries need not adjoin one another, but might interlope ectopically, anachronistically, or multiplicitously across a non-Euclidean diorama of extending plateaus.
Whereas a traditional interview may extract music from its placial situation, this performance-presentation constitutes the typical texts of music’s reception synchronically within a given performative space. Seeking to coalesce traditional research practices with current compositional technologies, this “interactive interview” between musicologist and music theorist Danielle Sofer and composer and musicologist Juliana Hodkinson begins with a spoken dialogue of prepared interview materials, including excerpts from texts by Deleuze and/or Guattari and Erin Manning. In the course of the work, this prepared format becomes increasingly interposed by musical and verbal interference. Set up in this way, artistic practice seemingly causes the object of research to fissure, erupt, and escape those who study it, thus replicating the archaeological habits of research more accurately than a traditional conference presentation. Blurring the walls of the concert hall with the boundaries of “transitive places” in a much broader context, our collage locates itself within the delineated territories of Hodkinson’s recent compositions to create a transverse quilt of mix-matched identities, many parts of which are nominally fixed but which in their performance/recitation remain at once analogically open.
Heidegger, Martin. 1971. “Building Dwelling Thinking.” In Poetry, Language, Thought, translated by Albert Hofstadter, 141–60. New York: HarperCollins.
Juliana Hodkinson is a composer and independent researcher. Her artistic work ranges from intimate semi-staged object and chamber pieces to large-scale electroacoustic works, often involving text or visual or theatrical elements. She has also created installations and electronic performances embracing field recordings, samples, voice, radio, and Foley. Her work has been commissioned widely—by, among others, Konzerthaus Berlin, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Interfilm Festival, Chamber Made Opera, the Danish National Museum at Royal Jelling, Den Anden Opera, Operanord, Berliner Festspiele/MaerzMusik, Südwestdeutsche Rundfunk, Spor Festival, Odense Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Mons, Scenatet, Kammerensemble Neue Musik, Aphids, and Esbjerg Ensemble. Her academic background is in musicology, languages, and philosophy. She has published articles and essays on contemporary music, sound art, opera, collaborative artistic practices, and cultural politics. She has taught composition and music aesthetics at Technische Universität Berlin, the Royal Danish Academy of Music, and the University of Copenhagen.
Danielle Sofer trained as a violist and pianist but abandoned performance in graduate school to pursue an academic career in music history and theory; however, somehow she has never been able to remove herself completely from a performing role. Danielle is currently employed as a university assistant at the Kunstuniversität in Graz, Austria, where she is writing the dissertation “Making Sex Sound: Erotic Currents in Electronic Music.” Danielle has published on Deleuze’s notion of eroticism as it pertains to electronic music and on the music of central European composers active in the 1920s. An article revisiting the concept of “structural listening” is forthcoming as is a book co-edited with Christa Brüstle on the life and work of composer Elizabeth Maconchy.