An important aim of this project was to share individual methodological approaches as researchers. Language was a necessary tool for analysing musical and literary texts and for making extra-musical associations. Communication with audiences, research group discussions and documentation, pinged on using appropriate and exact language. Each member of the research group brought their different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to the challenge of adequate communication.
Vocabulary about artistic processes was developed in different ways to convey essential elements in artistic processes. These included:
Ways of explaining intuition, feeling and experiences
Searching for appropriate words and ways to communicate personal elements and experiences in the artistic process.
Ways of questioning
A dialectic process of finding and generating questions about essential elements within the artistic process, then trying to answer them individually, during rehearsals or in dialogue with others.
Ways of describing the music
Finding ways of discovering, describing and analysing elements of the music by using music terminology, music theory, metaphors, narratives, free associations, and imagery. This has the double function of aiding one’s own artistic process and communicating it to others.
Scrutinizing one’s own language
A process of reflecting on one’s own use of language to discover ingrained, habitual attitudes and usages.
Creating new words for new phenomena as discovered in artistic processes, such as “sonotical” and “comprovisation”.
Oral ways of communicating with audiences
Finding appropriate, concise language which reaches different audiences in different settings.
Oral ways of communicating in different teaching situations
Adjusting language to communicate with students of different nationalities, in different contexts (Master Class, individual lessons).
To find out how to articulate and communicate elements of performance proved to be challenging in several ways:
Using English as a research language was challenging for several of the research group members who wished to express themselves clearly and naturally. It was decided that Norwegian could be used for some and be later translated for publication on Research Catalogue.
The question, “for whom is the research being done?” was a topic which influenced choice of language. Because members of the research group had varying levels of proficiency in oral and written English, this was an on-going issue. Was it important that our research language could communicate with master students in performance? If so, using academic English can be problematic, given its multitude of words and specific terminology. Performing teachers use their base of knowledge in a direct oral way, often using a less-advanced language in order to get practical results. This can pose a dilemma for the field of artistic research – particularly within music performance – as opposed to academic and analytical sides of music study.
Finally, some musical qualities or personal intuitions simply cannot be expressed with words. When communicating, many musicians merely play or sing musical gestures to each other, thus omitting tedious and insufficient verbal explanations.