Our methodological point of departure is the Seventeenth century concept of 'ornamentation': a music manuscript, performed as a research-meditation-through-action. This seems necessary because much like the 'ripening' of trauma, 'what a piece of ornamented music' IS can never be decided in advance. It is a becoming, not a being. 'Ornament' may be a term associated with the frivolous in propositional philosophy, but in music 'ornament' is profound. Pursuing the methods of ornamentation with commitment entails an open-ness to the totally UNKNOWN. As a method it is commutable between philosophy, empirical science and music. Like alchemy, it is entirely non-doctrinal and experimental. It forces the participants to reflect on some fundamental questions which transect disciplines: What in any encounter causes acts to change direction and transform? What is the significance of touch in an encounter? How do parts relate to wholes? How are we to judge if these connections are significant? To what extent does apophenia play a role in the process of ornamenting?
The term 'apophenia' is most often deployed as a psychiatric concept for the abnormal heightening of significant connections. Building on the later phases of Lenkiewicz's work, Price's research (2017) demonstrated several techniques by which it might be induced. It may be a useful corrective to pathological under-connection. This research aims to explore how such a heightening of sensed connectivity is both necessary and desirable in musical performance, and perhaps (though we can not say in advance) in broader therapeutic interventions. We aim to show how methods of musical ornamentation and 'hyper-connectivity' may contribute to the harmonious development of inter-disciplinary research in general.
This project is an artistic/philosophical exploration of Ornamenting as an over-spilling, over-abundance and over-vocalization; it begins modestly, with a desire to investigate the relation between two simple notes and a space-in-between. This simple beginning is the base from which to study the 'between-worlds' of what is known and unknown, sensed and non-sensed, between reason and imagination, between self and other. A group of performing artists/philosophers (among these are Swedish theatre director, actor and writer Anna Takanen, singer Anna Heikkinen, actress Maria Lundquist, and dr. Milla Tiainen) have been invited to join in the explorative laboratories as co-creative ‘readers/performers’ and dialogue partners.
This praxis-led project is not only meant to shed light on artistic music research as a way of making art. It also attempts to open new possibilities for trans-disciplinary explorations. Techniques for the production of meaningful connections at the level of vocal performance must of course go beyond the subjective realm of the performer and be tested via the micro-sociology of audiences. As such this is not a matter of theory, but empirical research. Taking a strong hint from the 'hard sciences' it is reasonable to assume that with the aid of inference and inductive reasoning, apophenic techniques of connectivity might be used to connect a variety of fields. The guiding hope of the research is twofold. Firstly, to set aside 'theory' and instead develop a reliable tool-kit for exploring ornamentation as a way of meaning-making. And secondly, to investigate whether such tools might be useful in enriching dialogues between zones which are separated by subject-specialism in the realms of education, therapeutic practice, science, and how we make meaning in the art of everyday living.