ODC 2022 // Serendipity - The Unsought Discovery

Orpheus Instituut

Serendipity is the happy accident - finding B while searching for A. It allows us to discover value in the unexpected while looking for something else entirely.

While notions of emergence, chance and indeterminacy have been the topic of numerous artistic research and musicological investigations, serendipity within the arts and specifically in music remains largely unexplored. This conference aims to enquire about serendipity in the creative practice of musicians, including, but not limited to, interpretation, composition, curating a program and choosing musical partners.

Above all, the conference questions the inherent paradox: is it possible to prepare for the unexpected? How can we optimize conditions in our musical practice in order to allow for the unexpected to emerge?

Among different scholarly perspectives, the conference welcomes artistic research especially.

Keynote speakers:

  • Iwan Wopereis (Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Open University of the Netherlands)
  • Michiel Braam (Head of the Jazz & Pop Department at ArtEZ, Arnhem, The Netherlands)


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

9:00 - 9:30 Registration & Coffee

9:30 - 10:15 Double Keynote Address 1

  • Michiel Braam (Head of the Jazz & Pop Department at ArtEZ, Arnhem, The Netherlands)
  • Iwan Wopereis (Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Open University of the Netherlands)

10:15 - 11:00 Keynote Address 2

  • Marije Baalman (Freelance artist and member of iii - instrument inventors initiative, The Hague)

11:00 - 11:30 Moderated Q&A with Keynote Speakers

11:30 - 11:45 Coffee Break

11:45-13:15 Session 1

  • The "Method of Vienna" (MoV) - An Attempt to Systematically Provoke Knowledge with a Historical Communication Format Susanne Abed-Navandi (MUK - Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna)
  • Serendipitous Moments in Improvised Drumming: Identity and the Pursuit of the Unknown Conor McAuley (Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen's University, Belfast)
  • A Cross-disciplinary Interplay between the Musical Score and Dance Improvisation: Intuition, Chance, or Divination? Elina Akselrud (Doctoral School for Artistic Research, University of Music and Performing Arts Graz)

13:15 - 14:15 Lunch break

14:15 - 16:15 Session 2

  • Unsettling the Spectres in Electronic Music Composition Gareth Whitehead (University Of Surrey)
  • Failure, Deviation and Negation of the Norm - and Its Poetics Carlos Eduardo Soares (Caeso) (Orpheus Institute / Leiden University)
  • Using Conscious Imagery While Improvising Freely - Contradiction? Jaak Sikk (Estonian Academy of Music and Theater), Gerhard Lock (Tallinn University, Baltic Film, Media and Arts School)
  • Systems for Serendipity Leslee Smucker (composer, independent researcher)

16:15-16:30 Coffee Break

16:30 - 17:30 Session 3

  • Serendipitous Decay: Instruments, Craft, and Material Agency Kevin Toksöz Fairbairn (sound artist, independent researcher)
  • Shifting Perspective: The Unexpected Affordances of Period Clarinet Vittoria Ecclesia (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre)

17:30 - 18:30 Moderated Discussion and Final Remarks Luk Vaes, moderator (Orpheus Institute)


Registration is required via this link:
Registration fee: € 30 (incl. lunch and coffee breaks).
Participation is free of charge for presenters and Orpheus Institute-associated researchers and docARTES students.

The conference will be held in person at Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium.

Registration deadline: November 9, 2022 (23:59)

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