From the outset, Music with the Real encouraged reflections in the form of text production and seminar lectures. Project participants, external lecturers and writers gathered regularly to discuss a variety of aspects on the topic. The texts presented here were, in part, commissioned to reflect on the artistic outcome.
Harry Lehmann: Artistic Research in Art Music
German philosopher Harry Lehman focuses on art, aesthetics and currents in the contemporary music practice. Through books such as The Digital Revolution in Music – a Music Philosophy, furthermore, coining terms such as Relational Music and Gehaltsästhetik, he has had an impact on the discourse surrounding recent art music. About the presence of extra-musical material in what he calls ‘relational music’, Lehman states that the connections to the ‘extra-musical material’ are included in the concept of art music and not, as is the case in absolute music, excluded from the concept of music a priori. Lehman distinguishes four different strategies in relational music: semantization, theatricalization, visualiziation and sonification.
Anders Førisdal: Musical Realities
Anders Førisdal holds a PhD in musicology from the Norwegian Academy of Music, and has also been a performing musician in the project. In his article, Music Realities, he has taken an analytical approach to the works of Bauckholt, Kreidler and Shlomowitz, each of which highlight different aspects which run through the project – performativity, multimediality, and sample-based composition.
Ursula Brandstätter: The Reality of Music
Ursula Brandstätter is principal at Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität Linz. Her article The Reality of Music was presented as a lecture at the symposium “Music with the Real – new contexts for sound and image in performance and composition“on December 6, 2016 at the Anton Bruckner University. In her article, Brandstätter asks which realities music refer to, and how we should describe the relationship between music and reality. Can music even refer to anything outside itself at all? Isn’t music above all a reality in, and of, itself, and isn’t this sufficient? The article discusses how music and reality could be paired and conceptualized anew in the wake of John Cage and Pierre Schaeffer, whose work employed so called found materials. This created new contexts for the definition of music, which, in turn, established new possible contexts for interpretation.
Matthew Shlomowitz: Real World Sound in Relational Music
Matthew Shlomowitz was a composer in the project group, and his article Real World Sound in Relational Music looks at both his own works, as well as works by Johannes Kreidler and Joanna Bailie. He discusses the term Relational Music introduced by Lehmann. Shlomowitz compares this new musical practice to the discourse of the Seconda Prattica in the early 17th century, and the New German School’s conception of Programme Music from the mid 19th century – pointing to the old debate between absolute music and music which refers to something outside itself, in the «real» world.
Hubert Steins: Perceptual Shifts
Musicologist and journalist Hubert Steins’ article Perceptual Shifts portrays German composer, and former Kagel student, Carola Bauckholt. The article discusses how her practise is part of an extended conception of art and music which invites us to discover aesthetic qualities in natural sonic phenomena we would not otherwise pay attention to, or take seriously.