Session|séance 1.2. Crossing Over, Coming Back

Session|séance 1.2.  Crossing Over, Coming Back.
Room: 11-463. Chair: Tom Van Seters

Wednesday|mercredi 23 May|mai 2018. 9:00 - 11:00AM

 

1.2.1 Strange Instruments: The Dynamics of a String Quartet’s Response to Éliane Radigue’s Electronic Sounds

Emanuelle Majeau-Bettez, McGill University

This paper analyzes the dynamics of the new and current collaboration between the Montreal-based Bozzini String Quartet and female electronic music pioneer Éliane Radigue. Starting in the late 1960s, Radigue’s electronic music career has been characterized by seemingly unchanging hour-long pieces in which organic micro oscillations between pitches replace traditional rhythm. Since 2001, Radigue has started composing this electronic-sounding music for instrumentalists, communicating her aesthetic through oral transmission. While the few academics that have shown interest in Radigue’s instrumental music have focussed their attention on the oral aspects of her compositions (Nickel, 2015), I will seek to move beyond non-written formal parameters of her music, and explore the ways in which the actual sound of a Radigue piece generates new performance conventions. Drawing on recordings of the Bozzini rehearsals at Radigue’s apartment, as well as on my own correspondence with Radigue and the quartet, I will look at moments of strong emotional response to, or caused by, Radigue’s sound. These affective reactions on both Radigue’s and the quartet’s side reveal points of tension between instrumental and electronic music conventions, and indicate moments where the Bozzinis either succeed or fail in rendering Radigue’s aesthetic. Spectrograms and recordings of the Bozzini’s attempts to create a Radigue sound will be used to further analyze these points of tension, and will reveal that in order to successfully play a Radigue instrumental piece, the Bozzinis need to reproduce every element of Radigue’s previous electronic music – the string quartet needs to “become” an electronic instrument.

 

1.2.2. Research-Creation in Music as a Collaborative Interdiscipline

Sophie Stevance and Serge Lacasse, McGill University

L’arrivée des disciplines artistiques dans les universités nord-américaines au tournant des années 1970 a eu pour effet de questionner en profondeur le primat du modèle scientifique de la connaissance (en particulier la méthode scientifique) auquel les sciences humaines et sociales venaient récemment d’adopter. Sans nier ce modèle scientifique, les disciplines artistiques ont ouvert l’ontologie, la sémantique et la pratique disciplinaires à un ensemble de langages et de procédés scientifiquement inédits en même temps qu’elles adaptaient et assimilaient progressivement un certain nombre des caractéristiques du modèle scientifique et de son concept général de «méthode». C’est de cette intégration à l’écosystème universitaire que provient le concept de «recherche-création», apparu dans les années 1980 dans les universités canadiennes, que l’on peut saisir comme le répondant disciplinaire artéfactuel du modèle et de la méthode scientifique dans le contexte du savoir universitaire. Or, simultanément à cette intégration universitaire de l’art, les problèmes nouveaux, qui ont progressivement émergé et qui se multiplient dans le champ de la réalité contemporaine, réclament une marge de manœuvre épistémologique qui se trouve au centre de la recherche-création, de sa génétique artéfactuelle et scientifique. De ce point de vue, la recherche-création peut être considérée comme la méthode propre de l’interdisciplinarité (Stévance/Lacasse 2018) où les individus collaborent dans le cadre d’une démarche intégrée de leurs disciplines respectives visant à un enrichissement mutuel et au dépassement de celles-ci. Quelles sont les conditions de l’interdisciplinarité de la recherche-création? Comment des espaces de dialogue, de collaboration et d’interaction, notions du reste suscitées par le trait d’union qui forge l’expression «recherche-création», peuvent-ils se mettre en place, notamment en musique? Cette communication propose de penser cet espace transversal, d’interaction écosophique visant à partager des expériences uniques (création), et à mesurer, décrire et comprendre l’intrication des relations que tissent entre eux tous les participants, chercheurs et créateurs (recherche).

 

1.2.3. Creating Virtuosity: Glenn Gould and Electronic Technologies

Paul Sanden, University of Lethbridge

This paper will examine Glenn Gould’s efforts, primarily through recordings and broadcasts, to frame his own musical identity and public persona—becoming, in effect, the first modern-day virtuoso to structure a career around the extensive (and exclusive) use of recording and broadcast technologies. After exploring Gould's particular status as a virtuoso musician, and the methods he employed in the practice of that identity, I will investigate Gould's place within a broader context of musical virtuosity—first, by considering continuities between 19th-century concepts of virtuosity and Gould's case; and second, by considering how Gould represents new formulations of musical virtuosity—particularly those dependent on his use of electronic technologies—that have continued to flourish in the 21st century.

Musical virtuosity, in short, is a changing terrain, dependent for its definition upon the culture and time in which it is encountered (Bernstein 1998; Deaville 1997, 1998, 2003). My work will build on this concept by investigating how concepts of virtuosity formed in an age of ubiquitous electronic technologies are formed not only in response to a longstanding tradition of virtuosity, but also in response to the sound technologies that characterize current musical practices: recording, broadcasting, and other digital media. Particularly significant in Gould’s case are the extent to which his musical performances were “manufactured” in the recording studio, and the extent to which he employed mass media, especially CBC radio and television broadcasts, to shape his public image.

 

1.2.4 Back and Forth: Dialogic Creative Processes

Lauro Pecktor de Oliveira, University of Calgary

In this research, I intend to compose pieces based in models extracted from studies of other composers’ creative processes. Instead of dialoguing with a finished piece, I will be in direct dialogue with the networks of operations that drive the creative processes to move from the early sketch(es) to the published work. This research finds in genetic criticism and its expansion to music a proper theoretical framework in order to methodologically approach other composers’ working documents (​i. e.​, any available document that relates to a creative process). In this regard, a first part of this research involves the selection of pieces to be studied, and the extraction of creative process models established from these studies. The second part is the composition of pieces based on these models. The first creative process to be used as a model is R. Murray Schafer’s (1933-) ​Seventh String Quartet, with soprano obligato (1998). From this study I am composing a piece for orchestra based on Schafer’s relation with text, colour and shape (as alternative notation), and (self)quotation. I chose these elements because they are not part of my ordinary compositional method. As a partial result, this first endeavour is demonstrating to have a somewhat didactical effect; not only by building a deeper understanding of another composer’s creative process, but also by unveiling traces of my own creative habits; perhaps what Philippe Leroux (1959-), when studying his own creative process with Nicolas Donin in ​Voi(rex) (2002): what I knew without having named.

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