We are pleased to welcome Francesca Ajossa, Harry Buckoke, Maya Fridman, Adam Lukawski, Chiara Percivati, Vera Plosila, Stijn Saveniers, Carlos Eduardo Soares and Victor Somma to the docARTES programme. We also welcome dr. Loes Rusch as a new faculty member.
In January we received 55 applications for the docARTES programme. Following the decision of the entrance examination jury, nine candidates were selected:
- Francesca Ajossa (IT), organist
- Harry Buckoke (UK), viola da gamba
- Maya Fridman (RU), cellist
- Adam Łukawski (PL), composer
- Chiara Percivati (IT), clarenetist
- Vera Plosila (FI), traverso
- Stijn Saveniers (BE), orchestra conducting, cello
- Carlos Eduardo Soares (BR), composer, guitarist and computer musician
- Victor Somma (BR), flute
Nowadays music is just a few mouse clicks away and comes to us in many different forms; yet, no matter in which circumstances, it is primarily linked to the auditory stimuli that it consists of.
Numerous studies show, however, that visual information also play a fundamental role in the way an audience experiences a musical performance. In contrast to traditional organ performances, where the visual element is almost absent because of the hidden position of the console, the aim of this project is to use the great communicative power of vision to enhance the expressiveness of the performance and possibly overcome the limitations pointed out in the literature through the idea of the “music projected moving bodies”: a danced choreography that is added to the performer-audience line of communication.
Harry’s research work looks at the techniques and influence of chordal and polyphonic accompaniment on viola da gamba in the sixteenth century. Research methods include intabulations of works by composers linked to this manner of performance (Dalla Viola, De Bercherm, Tiburtino etc.), on viol and lirone, and analysis of the few sources detailing the practice.
The project builds towards an understanding of how the instrument and its possibilities influence these adaptations both in terms of the structure (what notes are actually played) and manner of performance. This includes examining the instrument’s vocal but non-verbal properties and the aesthetic consequences of using an instrument as a proxy voice (or voices), removing language and incorporating multiple voices as one musician.
This research is driven by the necessity to investigate the subject of performing instrumental works by Russian post-minimalist composers, and to explore possibilities of incorporating the spiritual ideas that informed those works in a concert practice. The aspiration of Russian post-minimalism to occupy a territory between music, spirituality and philosophy has often been neglected by both artistic and academic communities. In this research I will examine ritualization of the concert practice as a creative method on examples of its leading exponents, e.g. Alexander Knaifel, Vladimir Martynov and Nikolai Korndorf. This research aims to critically reflect on concepts and approaches directly related to the performance of Russian post-minimalist music, and to contribute to its wider recognition in the Western contemporary music world.
The prospective research would be a continuation of Adam’s Master’s thesis in which he defined a new method for synthesis and analysis of music compositions with the use of a new taxonomy of musical parameters - “Periodic Fractal of Shepard-Risset frequency sets”. The doctoral research built on these discoveries would continue to expand the method of sound and music notation synthesis in relation to the “Periodic Fractal” algorithm with the use of digital signal processing techniques. These will be subject to artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies in order to create a new computer program giving access to a new artistic de-centralised network in which musical compositions could be discovered on a tree of possibilities (rather than composed) and might generate immediate economical value serving as cryptocurrency by itself that could be exchanged and “performed” between the users of the network. During the study, the examined methodology would be implemented in Adam’s artistic practice to create a portfolio of new compositions. The study would also hopefully trigger the discussion about the future of music composition in the world quickly shifting from the Information Era towards the so-called Imagination Age.
The research explores clarinet and bass clarinet preparation in a technologically up to date context and discusses the consequent transformation of the performer’s perceived and acknowledged identity. Despite the triggering role that preparation had in the development of other instruments’ repertoire and technique, its use on clarinet remains, to date, infrequent, with very few examples of works conceived for the prepared instrument. Besides, an accessible and systematic study method to approach this existing repertoire and the related unorthodox techniques is still missing. The goal of this work is then twofold: stimulating artistic creation in this field and sharing knowledge on these practices.
A distinctive characteristic of this work is the choice of a “contemporary” approach to preparation, making use of digital technologies to expand the instrument and the traditional creative process. For this reason, the collaboration with the Department of Product Development of the University of Antwerp, and with composers/experts in this field, will offer the possibility of developing new instrument prototypes with the support of 3D printing technology and of the Arduino electronic prototyping platform. Research in this field will be done through the analysis of case studies (solo works for prepared clarinet or bass clarinet, from the existing repertoire or fruit of new collaborations), through a reflective diary of my daily working practice and activity, and through the development and validation of a specific technical training.
My research focuses on theories of the sublime by the Berlin Enlightenment philosophers Moses Mendelssohn (1729–86) and Johann Georg Sulzer (1720–79). Both were active in the group Montagsklub, whose other members included the playwright Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, poet Karl Wilhelm Rammler, writer–composer Christian Gottfried Krause, flutist Johann Joachim Quantz and organist–singer Johann Friedrich Agricola. Closely associated to Montagsklub were also other court musicians, such as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. The members discussed contemporary aesthetic thought from England, France and Germany. My first objective is to inquire, how the sublime was theorized in the circle during the 1750–70’s.
Mid-century Berlin also saw a growing esteem for instrumental music, which was strongly related to the time’s aesthetic preferences. The ineffable quality became an expressive asset in the time’s aesthetic thought. Thus, I want to discover, how an acquired sensibility towards the mid-century aesthetic theories can aid the performance of the Montagsklub circle’s instrumental chamber music.
Humor in the performance of operetta is not limited to the literary dimension of the libretto. The music – or its absence – forms an essential dramaturgical interpretation of the libretto. It proves, however, to be challenging to balance the musical text, the lyrics and the spoken portions of the libretto in such a way that they reinforce each other.
From my experience as an operetta conductor, the interpretation of the music score is key to obtaining that balance.
This research project aims at defining humor techniques related to operetta music scores, using three Belgian Belle Époque operettas as case studies, and developing a proposition to operationalize these humor techniques within a contemporary narrative.
By means of exploring its negative connotations as a disruptive force beyond its immediate aesthetic implications, failure is a poetic strategy used in order for artworks to subsist apart from a possible 'tracing back' to standard approaches. This research proposal focuses on the investigation of the poetic potentials of negativity through the exploitation of failure in sound based artistic practices - a context that has not been extensively addressed. Investigations should be conducted through practice-as-research, as there is no substantial repertoire which clearly relates to the subject, requiring critical and creative engagement to develop new ways to address it through an artistic perspective.
The composer as a co-creator of bridges between society and contemporary music: A matter of dialogue?
The source and target domain of this research project is situated at the crossroads of composition, performance and education. The idea of this investigation is to develop field research on the social projects I'm engaged in both in Brazil and in Belgium. I intend to perform, on a long-term basis, a series of compositions for the various ensembles present in these projects. The interaction with these contexts will help me to delve into the three key aspects of this research: my development as a composer by engaging in these different social projects, the impact my composition could have on students' perception and musical development, and finally how this process can help to build a bridge of communication between composer and the majority of society. Would it come precisely from the underprivileged strata of society, the answer to the current state of indifference of most people in society to contemporary music?