A Singing Orna/Mentor's Performance or Ir/rational Practice


        Elisabeth Belgrano

                  PhD in Performance in Theatre and Music Drama


Inter Arts Center, Malmö/Lund University, Sweden




 is inviting you to curiously move along into      an     other reality.Into a score,handwritten

Contact: elibelgrano@mac.com

You are invited to walk into this je-ne-sais-quoi of the score...





as part of our everyday breath...


a good look

at a specific detail...


into its very centre,


to cut

and to chop

it into parts...

Searching for every possible aspect of any-thing-in-itself...

Touching its surface and finding it all tremendously curious...


it is like making music

being in dialogue

with another voice




making sound





we closed our eyes and tried to listen with our bodies

we stood there back to back

waiting for the other to fill the longs with air that would turn into sound...


Touching(Barad 2018)





"the sensuality of the flesh,

and exchange of warmth,

a feeling of preasure,

a proximity of otherness

that brings the other nearly as close as oneself.

Perhaps closer. [...] an uncanny sense of the otherness of oneself.

A literal holding oneself at a distance in the sensation of contact, the greeting of a stranger. [...]

So much happens in a touch: an infinity of others - other beings, other spaces, other times - are aroused." (Barad 2012:1,see also Boehler 2010] see also).



central to

17th century vocal performance. Touching (Derrida 2005) while voicing. Observing and expressing the wonders of living. It was a time when voice was considered being a symbol of NOTHINGNESS

Pointing towards a context  - far more rich that the actual score itself.

Departing from an historical source means in this research entering a limitless spacetime.

                                                                                                                       A walk without an end.

For me this score carries a longing for that-which-is-yet-to-be-known.




The ornamenting voicing keeps moving through a fluid landscape.


is an extension

of the factual and the physical.

the material, the existing,    

the magical, the extreme


          as paradox and wonder







There was a key

we had follow

we had to lean against

(Florio 1611: Orígine; Cotgrave 1611:Origine; Barad 2017:43)


has consciously been on my mind and in my heart

for the last 15 years now.

Trying to understand its function

in the production of vocal expression,

in Venetian Academic mid 17th century gatherings,

in the creation of the early modern opera

around the beginning of 1600 (Calcagno 2003, Belgrano 2011).

Nothingness has thus informed me about here and now. That everything is now and never again. Here and then. 

(Lambert ca. 1662)

Entering a(n original) line,   

transcribed and performed 

in Paris around 1662-63. 

The French

at the time didn’t care much

for that kind of Nothingness.

They preferred the fluidity of a continuous touching.

A glistering ongoing ornamenting movement towards


No beginning.

No end.

But a

cultivated brilliance, shimmering,


Gone in a flash.

(VoiceLab 2017)

Entering a(n original) line, making it part of an everyday breath; taking a good look at a specific detail: spiralling into its very centre, starting to cut and chop it into parts, searching for every possible aspect of the thing-in-itself, touching its surface and finding it all tremendously curious; in the midst of the sensuous experience silence rises like a bridge ahead – opening up for unknown points on the other side: points being other narratives, other imaginations, other associations. Resting at the foot of the bridge, reflecting on the situated context of being in





Starting to move upward and forward, keeping the gaze onto the wondrous encounter on the other side; leaving worries, fears and shame on the shore behind; looking around for points of interest; following these points away from the expected path; walking for days in a completely different direction; still caught by a certain-something that is about to be found and explored somewhere else (only the orna/mentor knows what and where); in the midst of it all, a light is shining strong from far away, telling something, demanding attention, telling the orna/mentor to re/turn to the original. It’s like a beaming light of a lighthouse informing the traveller about the route; the orna/mentor knows from the shining light that the original line is coming up very soon, confirming that the orna/menting has come to an end, even if it’s only for a short while. Soon it will start all over again.


The orna/mentor’s path is irrational, allowing curiosity to guide. What’s left in the orna/mentor’s footsteps is a trace being crystallised and clearly visible. The dots that were ahead, they have become a firm line behind. The orna (read as: urn, pot or thing-in-itself) has been cared for by a mentor’s mind and DOINGS. The orna/mentoring hand. The caring has created endless variations of things-in-themselves: ornamented versions of the original. The DOINGS of the orna/mentor are original and can never be made the same. The effect can be read as a translation of one DOING to another DOING to another DOING. Creating multiple understandings/narratives/fabulations/doings based on a simple original (DOING).



An orna/mentor’s acts are: to follow and to divert, to oppose and to compose, to complement and to confuse, to clarify and to reassure. The performances by an orna/mentor are things/materialisations in multiple versions. The effects of an orna/mentor’s DOINGS can be observed as isolated mad scenes, or landscapes governed by wilderness; or they can create a desire to pick up an ornamented thing-in-itself and to continue an irrational performance of ornamented translations on the original (DOING) again and again.

The orna/mentor's act becomes a proposal for the future


You are invited to walk into this je-ne-sais-quoi of the score exploring it as part of our everyday breath.


"And rather than offering a straight narrative, a linear unfolding of a particular storyline, it experiments with montage and fragmentary writing, diffractively reading insights through one another, allowing the reader to explore various cristalline structures that solidify, if only momentarily in the breaking of continuity."


The ornamenting voicing keeps moving through a fluid landscape. Pointing towards a context  - more rich than the actual score itself...


Taking a good look at a specific detail:


For me this score carries a longing for that-which-is-yet-to-be-known.


(Barad 2017:42)

Spiralling into its very centre, 

Searching for every possible aspect of any thing-in-itself, 

starting to cut and chop it into parts,


or an attempt to start


an orna/mentor's MANIFESTO by processing an orna/mentor's intra-acting dialogue with an anonymous Chorus of Reviewers developed based on anonymous peer-review comments for this exposition:


Departing from an historical source means in this research entering a limitless spacetime


Touching its surface and finding it all tremendously curious; 

(Cotegrave 1611)


This score tells

about pain

and sorrow.

About the fall

of a city.

about suffering and madness.

a lamentation.

a meditation.

a lesson in the shadows of death

The Orna/Mentor: I care and cure for making meaning at the very beginning. This is the process of performing-as-doing: Everything begins again and again. Always a new beginning.  A new encounter…

The Chorus of Unknown Reviewers: I would like to understand more about the process itself. The process of thinking, analyzing and arguing.

The Orna/Mentor: First, I don’t separate caring and curing. Instead I will continue to make them become one. Ca/u/re is the paradoxical act of caressing, shaping, caring for, curing, healing, encountering, hand-ling with care, as well as thinking, analyzing, and even arguing… there is no end to all -ings that keep on becoming new over and over. In each moment I meet You. As in ”The You encounters me by grace – it cannot be found by seeking. But that I speak the basic word to it is a deed of my whole being, is my essential deed.” (Buber 1970/1996:62) My shaping becomes a meaningful gift. An existential meaning-making mattering. Not a thing in itself, but a relational mattering full of meaning. I hold it in my hands. It vibrates. I can feel the warmth. Or the Cold. Warm. Cold. Warm/cold. And this process cannot be explained. It is a mystery that can be found without seeking. Found in a smile. In the eyes of whoever smiles. In the sounding tears of a heart. In the shape of a letter. In the meaning of words. In the sense of a sentence. In these relational acts I find meaning, and in many more. Because as an orna/mentor I am t/here to ca/u/re in any and every sense. I li/o/ve my task. And love is all t/here is, as a continuum. (This is also the connection to the concept of Nothingness, which is All and Nothing as a continuum).

The Chorus of Unknown Reviewers: As research this exposition would need more interpretation and contextualization.

The Orna/Mentor: This is the one reason we here and now perform our dialogue together. Not me as separated from you. But here and now. Making art is to leave space for the unknown to happen. For me to be able to meet here and now in the moment is perhaps the most important. It is not about the exposition in itself, but the way we understand our different ways of thinking as-part-of-the-exposition. The way we relate. I will not hesitate or move away. I will move directly into whatever you ask me to encounter. It is a critical moment, which in an existential dialogue can’t be avoided. We need to figure out, and re-configure out again as-part-of a dialogue. Meaning will never become the same. Always new. Only in an explorative collaboration will we reach our full potential. The relations I propose are fragmented, yes, I know they are. The reason for these fragments to be exposed in this way is to make space for more-than-one possibility. But they are not at all simply disconnected elements, too vague or too initial. It is in fact up to you/us/me to see, to hear and to recognize. Consider this ca/u/ring as a gift-exchanging process, as pointed out by Terra S. Rowe in her paper on Grace in intra-action (2017). She refers to intra-action as ”a process of continual  reciprocal relations of exchange with the other-than-human world, emphasizing that we all fully rely on an exchange of gifts with others”. We may contribute with fragmented sentences for us to start playing, discovering, relating, becoming alive as-part-of, battling as-part-of, fighting as-part-of, making peace as-part-of, making sense of as-part-of … You see, the context is part of us in this very present moment. This situation. Where I am encountering you. You are encountering I. We could potentially call it an intrapretation. I think that would be a better word. And I can tell that in this situated intra-active process arguing becomes the sort of lo/i/ving battle that has no intention to put A against B or C against A. In this sort of battling process, we have nothing to lose. Arguing is dissolved into a stubborn, curious and intense desire to see and sense. Leaving harming comments or bullying attitudes out the context.

The Chorus of Unknown Reviewers: Then what about the many links to lengthy theoretical texts or videos with theoretical content, which you don’t not really elaborate on in their own words…? An I am a bit exhausted to pop up to the hyperlinks, especially if they have a long inserts.

The Orna/Mentor: Your question is important. My behavior to throw you out into completely exhausting wordy situations - I do understand that can be frustrating. I give you a problem. I place it like a stone right in front of you on your path. But you see, I think it is actually a gift for you from me to critically care for the problem. If my act comes from me to you in an honest caring gesture, you have the choice to meet me. To care for what has been given. And I – as I do now in this dialogue – care for your comments. You don’t have to take in all theory. Not right now. Perhaps you would like to do so later on, at a different time. If you are in that mood, you can enter the theory in a different occasion and merge within it. But if I didn’t give you the opportunity it would have been lost. You would have come to a different point which would have brought you to different conclusions. You might then also think that I don’t elaborate enough on certain theories or issues, and also here you have a point which I follow with interest. Perhaps my thoughts can be explained as follow: In the moment of an encounter a world of possibilities open all around, in all directions. I need to taste the many different flavours given. Like a little child who encounters the world in new ways. Eyes wide open I take it to my heart and soul. I might show no sign of action, but inside of me something happens. Silent thoughts connect and disconnect. One thought is added to another. The process is ir/rational. I am myself a laboratory set up for unknown results.

Perhaps I need to prepare my reader better for the journey into the unknown. But who can ever be prepared for the unknown? Perhaps I ought to prepare the reader that it will become an exhausting adventure. But who can prepare for the unexpected and exhausting adventures in life? Perhaps I ought to tell that it will be ir/rational. Though in this case the ir/rational is presented in the title… and following the ir/rational can certainly become an exhausting process. I can only agree. But if you as a reader is able to tune into the world offered to you as a small child – perhaps you will see something new in the given chaotic situation.

The Chorus of Unknown Reviewers: Yet what is currently missing in this exposition almost entirely, or at least for the most part, are links to previous research on the performance of so-called early (vocal) music as well as a more detailed documentation of the actual artistic processes of working with specific materials, which inspired the you toward the conceptual reflections offered in the expo. These connections and frameworks are among the aspects that would need to be developed further in order for this exposition to become a more fully-fledged piece of artistic research. 


The Orna/Mentor: This is a tricky issue you bring to the surface. Something I consider continuously. Remember, as an orna/mentor I listen and sense whatever I encounter. I try to deal with the issue of goal-oriented expectations, such as “fully-fledged” pieces of artistic research. My references include whatever the situation is offering. Of course if the situation highlight previous historically informed performance issues, these would then be what I would see and sense. But I think that practice-led artistic research offers a much richer framework than one might expect. Even perhaps an endless framework, allowing me as a researcher to explore unknown connections rather than connection that are already visible and give. As you would expect in a practice-based research situation. This is also the reason why I use the term ir/rational in this presentation. The process of orna/menting can involve a practice of imitating what has already been produced. But slightly varied. Since, nothing can never be reproduced exactly the same - as we all know - when made by a living being ( or lets say handmade). It is also important to understand what exactly is at issues. What is it I want to know? The 17th century performance practice or the practice of a voice-artist today? My references will obviously not be the same, even if the sources and the research frames might overlap. If we move into the frame of how the voices did it then, how the situation was then – in these cases we will use the references for that kind of research. But if we ask questions about the unknown, about listening and voicing, about Nothingness, about meaning-making as orna/menting and caring – in that case our framework and references might become a totally different one. Artistic research allows for this kind of ir/rational movements. If you as a reader – with all your own thoughts and ideas - become part of what you read or experience with you whole being, only then can artistic research become a more fully-fledged piece of research. When research results become part of society, part of the universal (instead of being left aside and separated in a box) then we are dealing with something existentially important.

The Chorus of Unknown Reviewers: The result you are presenting is more a rich ensemble of notes – however engaging and thoughtfully drafted those notes may be – than a fully developed contribution to artistic practice-related methodological and theoretical debates. It is not yet clear how exactly different conceptual elements or lines of exploration interrelate. For example, what is the relationship between the concept of orna/menting and the idea of voice as nothingness, the latter of which is central to the kind of musical material you have been working with? How does the idea and praxis of orna/menting relate to 17th-century vocal music: does it have a specific relation to this type of repertoire and the kinds of questions, challenges or possibilities it offers for the practitioner, or what is the concept’s scope of applicability? Further, how do the ideas and/or practices of acting-intuition, translation and diffraction contribute to the mix? The exposition surely includes glimpses into how these different elements do, or might, inform each other and work together, but you could make this significantly clearer by explaining the connections explicitly. There is nothing wrong with a ‘work in progress’ or with the evocative poetic language you deploy, but at present the main points you wish to make simply remain somewhat too opaque. The exposition would also benefit from a more careful contextualisation in relation to studies of vocal/musical performance (concerning especially early music, where possible), and to your own artistic practice. 

Another key thing that would also increase the clarity of the argument and make the whole exposition more convincing, would be a more careful unpacking of the many quotes and links in your own words; that is, their more fully elaborated weaving into your own, original, approach.


The Orna/Mentor: I am taking all your thoughts to my heart and mind.  I am grateful that something has triggered all these questions. First of all you make me wonder what “a fully developed contribution to artistic practice-related methodological and theoretical debates” could be… But I suggest that we together take a step away and observe what we have produced together in this dialogue.

Because I think I see what you mean and ask for. I will make an attempt to be more clear: We know that (artistic) research is an extremely complex issue.  Some results are driven by quantitative strategies, others by more qualitative or performative strategies (Haseman 2006). It is important to come back to this ‘root’ because something fundamental happens right there. It is about encountering ‘as part of’ something or not. In research based on quantitative and qualitative strategies we (as researchers/ readers co/researchers etc.) are not considered part of the same picture. We are sort of all separated into categories that divide us into readers and authors, objects and subjects. We expect results to be fully explained contributions to a discourse or a debate. Measurable and fully unpacked. All facts should at the very best be presented only as ‘final’, and an ‘ensemble of notes’ is never enough. Vagueness is a no-no way in research.   

Though working with performative strategies allow for very different ideas to take shape. I don’t consider myself or anything I do as something separated, even if I also relate to frames and structures. Relating as a meaning-making praxis is perhaps what suits me the very best. For this reason, a performance becomes a doing that can only be done as a continuum. I would like to think that overvocalisation as performed in 17th century academic gatherings was a way of orna/menting everyday meaning. One ornament led to another. One saying would always lead further, being caught up by another being’s complex mind or system. One fragmented sigh was attaching to another being’s responding sigh. One comment became part of another comment. You can hear the sound of such ornamenting praxis in composed dialogues by for example Monteverdi. One sigh turns into an ornamented variation by a responding other. An impulse is given, even if it is brief and almost unheard. Opaque, if you would like to use that word. The respondent in an ornamented dialogue must consider him/her/itself as performatively part-of the same image, the same situation, the same breath. Never separated. Never fully apart. Never fully developed. The moment something is considered fully developed something has died.  A performative strategy is depending on the doing-as-part-of…. And because we never know exactly our future, the doing itself can’t be anything other than vague, opaque, unclear or whatever words we want to use. Irrational. Disturbing. Mad. Something we should try to fix. Something that needs to be controlled. But I rather like to use the term ir/rational with a slash. Because for the one who includes him/her/itself as-part-of the ongoing performance or the continuum of doing, reason is obvious within the unreason. The rational is always part of the irrational. I hope you can see my point. For me this is artistic research. An ir/rational performative continuum of doing (new) wisdom and knowledge.

So, I haven’t explained the details you are asking for in your comment, but I have tried to make you see the way I think and I invite you to be part of this thinking continuum. We can together move into every detail – together in conversation, or at a distance each of us following our thinking processing. We can invite others to join. The ornamenting act will then spin off into new forms and shapes. Or we can remain in silence. Our breathing will keep on making silent ornaments. Orna/menting in this sense becomes a meditation driven by desire and longing for knowing more and more. Some would say there is a sense of care and love involved. A c/a/u/rating act performed out of love for others and other ways of doing-as-part-of living. As-part-of-lo/i/ving. Inclusively.



leçons de ténebres.

(Nishida 1958)

"The true self, the self in its most concrete immediacy, then, is an acting self (kōiteki jiko) partaking in the world's poiēsis (production). Instead of being de-worlded subjects observing the world from without, we are radically implaced within the world's dynamism."


"We are both spectators and actors in the unfolding of the great play of life"


"Thinking already means acting"


"We see things by acting on them, creating them, giving them form."

"Intuition or seeing is never just the passivity or pure perception. Instead it entails the dynamism of our acting in the world, our active engagement with our surrounding. seeing things, that is, understanding them in view of what they are, aleardy implies our acting on them, giving them form, within the context of the given historical world. It involves the active structuring of what we see, rendering it into forms."

"We act on things while being acted on by them. We determine the things that are determining us; we shape the things around us as we ourselves are being shaped. So we see by acting and act by seeing; they generate eachother"



 (Krummel 2015:86)


Now, let us diffract the score through the words of Barad

                                                    who continues to write

                                                    about the very point of encounter:

(VoiceLab 2017)

While trying to get deeper into the wonders of VOCAL Nothingness I learned about the Japanese Philosopher Kitaro Nishida and the Kyoto School. I learned about a common interest in theorizing/practicing the art of Nothingness. In my research I am currently engaging with Nothinda's theory as a means and a tool for translating abstract vocality into meaning-making material(Uehara 2017).

In this work we are invited to approach words and sounds diffractively. Words spelled out but also words imagined through thinking. Cut together apart in every curiosity encountered(Barad 2014).


“Many voices speak here in the interstices, a cacophony of always already reiteratively intra-acting voices. These are entangled tales. Each is diffractively threaded through and enfolded in the other.” (Barad 2012:1)

Practicing and theorizing becomes a diffracted way of touching the otherness of the self.

A continuum of doings:

entering, making, taking,

spiralling, starting, searching,

finding, opening, resting,

reflecting, movng, keeping,

leaving, flowing, walking,

exploring, shining, telling, demanding, beaming, informing, coming, confirming, caring, allowing,


(Cotegrave 1611: Former; Traduire)

fragmented words of relevant situated meanings were explored while the opera genre was created in the mid 17th century. Overvocalisation. 


The female voice. 

(Calcagno 2004, Belgrano 2011)

Fragments contributing to a shift in the use of voices in an oral traditon of performing.

Voicing was not only about making voice, but perhaps even more about listing to the other while making voice sound and come alive. Irrational sounding. Sounding that became singing. To the world around. To the vaguness of everythings creation gesturing its right to act, to move, to be and to become.


"Language and speech, as a medium of expression, are a performance and as such entails gestures and bodily actions, which in turn imply interaction with others."

"One might even think of the practice of translating as a kind of self-cultivation or spiritual excercise in which one need to empty oneself in order to give voice to an otherness speaking through the words of another."


"Translation may be said to be an occasion for developing one's identity to incorporate the 'other'"

"Every utterance has the potential to be regarded as an experience of translating feelings into images, emotions into words, the ineffable into an open-ended and nonrestrictive kind of speech"

"The role of language in the experience was perhaps  still clearer  to them in the case of poetry, with its freedom to articulate reality in the double sense of expressing it verbally and being joined to it. The literal meaning of the Latin root translatio captures this well: in the creative process of articulation one is transported from one place to another"

"This kind of 'thinking through translation' runs the risk of mistakes, misunderstandings, and oversigh [...] But rather than shrink from the dangers, keeping them in mind can lead us to look at the text with fresh eyes [...]insofar as translation offers a paradigm for intercultural praxis it can take on 'ethical dimensions'". It obliges us to rethink our own linguistic categories, to reflect on ourselves at the same time as we reflect on others". The existential-philosophical paths of Nishitani and Ueda shows us how reason and sentiment, experience and comprehensions, philosophy and religion, and even Eastern and Western languages and worldviews can be made to illumine one another."


This moment while being part of this score means we are diffractively intra-acting with Nothingness and that-which-is-yet-to-be-known.

(Bouso 2017:112-114)

[...] to no longer regard ourselves as ontologically independent of and separete from our natural environment, but rather as parttaking in its dynamic ecology. [...] to comport with nature in mindfulness of our finitude, with our debt in mind, our origination in the source of our being, The result would engender a more wholesome and healtier ecological co-existence with beings of the earth, both alive and inanimate. Yet we must admit that to open the world as a world-of-worlds in intimacy with nature is no easy task. It is an on-going responsibility that invilves working for dialogue, conversation, and cooperative interactivity with our others, both human and non-human."

(Krummel 2015:224-225)

is vague,


"In summary, according to Barad, the in/deteminate principle is the condition of possibility and the condition of materialization of a phenomenon. She writes, 'in/determinacy is not the state of a thing, but an unending dynamism' (2012b, 12). Such ontological in/determinacy is a 'radical openness, an infinity of possibilities', which is what she calls 'the core of mattering' (2012b, 18)".(Mehrabi 2016:225)

It is the term radical openness I am searching for. An openness that includes that which-is-yet-to-be-known. If you close the doors, vagueness is excluded, everything can be explained, clearity is a keyword. But if we let doors be open... that-which-is-not-yet-known can appear at any moment. Here and now. The orna/mentor is ready. stretching out an open hand into the air. Inviting through a gesture of love. Universal love. Love for the otherness... What is vague can be met in its vagueness. What is not-yet-clear can become reconfigured.



Fearful to make too much sound,

A sound that mingles with bodies. 

Piled up all around inside the acoustics. 


Difficult to find air. 

Impossible to get enough.

Impossible to grasp.

Real is real and not real.


Here and now all is clean.

Hear and now all is death.

No life. No peace. No thing to trust.

Only Death.

White walls.

Bended ceilings.

Like in a sacred place.

But this is hell.

Sacred hell. 

Hell and Death.

All there is to know is death. 

Death and hope.

Hope since time is now.




(VoiceLab 2018)


"Mind, body and world are interwoven within the forms of our embodied agency."

"for Nishida, the embedded, world-engaged human body is not simply the sum of its biological parts or even its physical capacities. Rather, it is a fluid and an 'open-ended' functional structure', as he puts it, which both penetrates and is penetrated by the world in which it moves and acts. This 'world' includes both the body's immediate biological environments as well as the more encompassing cultural and historical contexts that contour our actions and self-understanding. 'Acting-intuition' for Nishida thus captures the active-passive circuit of relatedness through which the body both enters into and receives its world. Importantly, it can be cultivated such that we realize a nondual or 'pure' (Nishida 1990) experience of the world."

Let me conclude (and repeat):

in this exposition I have written

The singing orna/mentor's path is ir/rational, allowing curiosity to guide. What's left in the orna/mentor's footsteps is a trace being crystallized and clearly visible. The dots that were ahead, they have become a firm line behind. The orna (read as: urn, pot or thing-in-itself) has been cared for by a mentor's mind and doings. The orna/mentoring hand. The vocal caring has created endless variations of sounds-in-themselves: ornamented versions of the original. The doings of the orna/mentor are original and can never be made the same. The effect can be read as a translation of one doing of another doing of another doing. Creating multiple understandings/narratives/fabulations/doings based on a simple original doing...

(Krueger 2008:214)

Knowing goes beyond here, now and then. It is the moment when two pair of eyes meet. Trust is there. Even if only for a minute. Sound is visually translated into touch and into meaning. It might for some be a moment of forever. A moment to care for and to bring out in hard times. When two pair of eyes meet, they know. Doubt doesn't exist. To pay attention to the moment between two pair of eyes "is to catch the world in the act, like riding the cusp of a wave ever on the point of breaking"1. It is to experience yet another body growing out of a gaze. A structure that holds all eyes and all bodies within and eternally spilling it all out. It is a body claiming any paradox to be real and filled with life-force. It is a poetic materiality, a poem, a song. This moment is an extention of life and all realtions there could ever be.


As a singing academic I am departing with a score in my hand and my voice ready to lead.  Practice-led or performative research might be the identification of this artistic practice.  In my work I conscious about trying to keep the sensuous experience that I always strive for as a singer. My intention is to touch and to be touched – as a singer / as an artistic researcher / as a caring being.I place my work in diffractive and artistic methodologies. I search for ways to translate the movement from silence to voicing to existential meaning-making. I turn to whatever idea, fragment, theories, figures coming in my way. Staying with the situatedness of making sense out of nonsense. May it be poetic...


A performance act in itself.

A poetics of singing as knowing.

A feeling of having overcome fears and boundaries that previously interfered with me vocal  doings.

Ornamentation as a practice has allowed me to investigate ways of arriving at a deeper understandings of meaning making.


me to encounter




halfway,and fully relating to the 



a walk without an end



Arlander, A. (2014). “From interaction to intra-action in performing landscape”. In: Beatriz REVELLES BENAVENTE, Ana M. GONZÁLEZ RAMOS, Krizia NARDINI (coord.). “New feminist materialism: engendering an ethic-onto-epistemological methodology.” Artnodes. No. 14:26-34. [accessed 09/03/2019].


Barad, K. (2012/2017) ‘When two hands touch, how close are they? On Touching – The Inhuman That Therefore I Am’ in Stakemeier, K. and Witzgall, S. (eds.) Power of Material/ Politics of Materiality, Zurich: Diaphanes: 153-164.


Barad, K. (2014) “Diffracting Diffraction: Cutting Together-Apart”. Parallax, 20, 3:168-187.


Barad, K. (2017) 'What flashes up: Theological-Political-Scientific Fragments.' In: Keller, C. (ed.) (2017) Entangled Worlds. Religion, Science, and New Materialism. Fordham University Press: 21-88.


Barad, K. (2018) On Touching: The Alterity Within (on-line lecture).

STUDIUM GENERALE RIETVELD ACADEMIE: “Hold Me Now – Feel and Touch in an Unreal World Was a conference-festival organized by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam on March 21-24 (Published on Jun 27, 2018, accessed 09/03/2019].


Belgrano, Elisabeth (2011). “Lasciatemi morire” o faro “La FintaPazza”: Embodying Vocal Nothingness on Stage in 17th Century Italian and French Operatic Laments and Mad Scenes. ArtMonitor, doctoral diss. Gothenburg, 2011 [accessed 09/03/2019].


Belgrano, E. (2014) ‘Ornamentation based upon More-Than-Human-References: Moving Towards an Ecology of Trust‘.  CARPA4, Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts, The Impact of Performance as Research, hosted by the Theatre Academy Helsinki, 11-13 June, Proceeding:  http://nivel.teak.fi/carpa4/ornamentation-based-upon-more-than-human-references-moving-towards-an-ecology-of-trust-elisabeth-laasonen-belgrano/ [accessed 09/03/2019].


Belgrano, E. (2014-ongoing) Lessons in the Shadows of Death: an artistic research project oon French vocal ornamentation, voicing, intra-acting and how to perform TRUST. (Musical point of departure: Leçons de Ténèbres, Michel Lambert, 1610-1696) Research Catalogue [accessed 09/03/2019].

Belgrano, E. (2016) ‘Vocalizing Nothingness: (Re) configuring vocality inside the spacetime of Ottavia’. Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies,Vol. 1 Number 2, pp. 183-195 [accessed 10/08/2018].

Belgrano, E. (2018) Ornamenting Vocality. Intra-Acting for Vocal Meaning-MakingRuukku. Studies in Artistic Research,  Nr. 9, AESTHETIC INTRA-ACTIONS, Practicing New Materialisms in the Arts, Kontturi, K. et al. (eds) [accessed 09/03/2019].

Boehler, A. (2010) On touching. Transcription of video-lecture presented at Score #1, Touché, 21 April, Tantzquartier, Vienna[accessed 09/03/2019].

Bouso, R. (2017) Thinking through Translation. Nishitani and Ueda on Words, Concepts and Images. In: Uehara, M (ed) Philosopher la Tranduction. Philosophizing Translation.  Frontiers in Japanese Philosophy. Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, Nagoya.


Buber, M. (1970/1996) I and Thou. A new translation with a prologue "I and Thou" and Notes by Walter Kaufmann, A Touchstone Book, Simon & Schuster, New York London Toronto Sydney.

Calcagno, M. (2003) Signifying Nothing: On the Aesthetics of Pure Voice in Early Venetian Opera, The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 20, Nr. 4, s. 461-497.

Derrida, J. (2005) On Touching – Jean-Luc Nancy. Standford Univ. Press.


Ingold, T. (2018) Tim Ingold on Taking Others Seriously, Royal Anthropological Institutes Review, Conference Edition: 2.


Kleinmann, A. (2012) Intra-actions. Interview with Karen Barad. Mousse #34:76-81.

Krueger, J. W. (2008) Nishida, Agency and the Self-Contradictory' Body, Asian Philosophy, 18:3: 213-229.

Krummel, J. W. M.(2015) Nishida Kitarō's Chismatic Chorology. Place of Dialectic. Dialectic of Place. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis.


Lambert, M. (ca. 1660-1680) Leçons de Ténèbres, Bibl. Nat. Paris.

Mehrabi, T. (2016) Making Death Matter: A Feminist Technoscience Study of Alzheimer's Sciences in the Laboratory, diss. Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, The Department of Gender Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  

Nishida, K (1958) Intelligibility and the Philosophy of Nothingness. Three Philosophical Essays. Translated with an introduction by Robert Schinzinger, East-West Center Press, Honolulu.

Rowe, T. S. (2017) Grace in Intra-action: Complementarity and Noncircular Gift. In: In: Keller, C. (ed.) (2017) Entangled Worlds. Religion, Science, and New Materialism. Fordham University Press: 274-298.

Uehara, M. (2015) Philosopher la Traduction/Philosophizing Translation, Frontiers of Japanese Philosophy 9, Chisokudō, Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, Chisokudō, Publications, Nagoya, Japan.

On-line dictionaries:

Florio 1611 http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/florio/ [accessed 09/03/2019].

Cotgrave 1611 http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/cotgrave/ [accessed 09/03/2019].

VoiceLab, Hagkyrkan, Gothenburg, Sweden, 3 Nov. 2017.

VoiceLab, Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg, 29 May 2018.

Shadows, Photos: Belgrano, E., 2018.