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Embodied Approaches to Performing Experimental Music - Event 2

  • Goldsmiths, University of London (map)

This training explores embodied approaches to performing experimental music, and methods of observing and reporting on research observations that arise as a result of such performance. It employs an approach to methodological training through practical, hands-on workshops.

The suggested repertoire has been left deliberately broad to allow performers with different levels of expertise to take part. These workshops will be led alternately by the primary researchers in the project – who can direct the approaches taken by the performers in terms of specific areas of expertise – and will be further supported and scaffolded by invited interdisciplinary guests. All of the participants are therefore contributors, even if they may choose to observe rather than perform. These workshops create opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange and to discuss and refine methodologies for observing and documenting performance. Participants will discuss and explore the ‘moment of knowledge’ in practice research, and therefore to consider not only how knowledge arises from this approach, but how it might be identified, described, and shared.

These particular workshops will further attempt to synthesise and compare the observations of all of the participants through a combination of aspects of Collaborative Event Ethnography (cf. Campbell and Brosius, 2010) and Performance Autoethnography (cf. Denzin, 2003), acknowledging that practice research is both observed and embodied and that research insights may arise from multiple viewpoints. These will be collected on a workshop-by-workshop basis and will be managed in nVivo by the lead academic. The data set will then be made available beyond the training to the other researchers in the project and interested participants who wish to continue to contribute after the end of the training.


Event 1: 16th November 2019 11.00-13.00 with Dr Lauren Redhead

This initial discursive workshop on Introduction and Method will introduce collaborative event ethnography as a method and focus on discussion of the embodied and performative information that the participants wish to capture, towards a framework for documentation and reflection in the project.

Event 2: 16th November 2019 14.00-18.00 with Dr Mira Benjamin

The first workshop will focus on experimental music repertoire that is focused on listening practices, including James Tenney In a Large Open Space (1994), Pauline Oliveros Tuning Meditation (1971) and Scott McLaughlin The Endless Mobility of Listening (2016). The workshop will include mind-mapping exercises, performance and listening exercises and a performance in an open space on campus.

Event 3: 10th February 2020 14.00-18.00 with Dr Pete Furniss

The second performance workshop with a focus on the augmented instrument (instrument+electronics). The focus in this workshop will not be on repertoire but on different performance processes involving live interactive softwares.

Event 4: 16th March 2020 14.00-18.00 with Dr Sean Williams

The third performance workshop will use pieces by Hugh Davies that feature movement in performance and thereby engage with the space in which the performances take place as an integral component of the performance. Pieces will include Mobile with Differences and Quintet and participants will be invloved both as performers and as audience members to create some critical dialogue on the processes used.

Event 5: 24th April 2020 14.00-17.00 with Dr Lauren Redhead

The final event for feedback and review of data will be an evaluative and discursive workshop event involving viewing the final documentation from the workshops, discussing the data collected and the workshops and collecting reflections from student participants.

Intended Audience

The proposed training is suitable for any students in the Arts and Humanities, but will be of particular interest to those whose work includes making, observing or assessing performance of any sort. The proposed repertoire for the workshop sessions is of sufficient flexibility to allow participants with little performance or musical experience to take part should they wish. Furthermore, observation of these workshops is intended as an active mode of participation as all present will be invited to contribute to the framework and therefore there is not an expectation that students must perform in order to participate.

NB: ideally participants will be able to attend all of the sessions, but anyone who is able to attend at least the introduction and one workshop is welcome to participate. Where individuals are unable to attend the first workshop but would like to attend the other sessions, they may do so if they are able to review the introductory materials that will be created for the first session. The academic team can share these before the end of the training if required.