Vodou vibrations sounds of memories of fields and burdens living in translations and broken bows balancing on plateaus while speaking to one self and scratching the surface of the raft while drifting away

Tacit or Loud: where is the knowledge in art?
Symposium and festival for artistic research
Nov 16-Dec 3

Dec 1
Musical Gesture and Embodied Cognition

Inter Arts Center

Red Room

Go To Hell: towards a gesture-based compositional practice
Red Room

Music Enaction. Key points towards radicalizing
embodiment in music
Red Room

Kurze Schatten II
Red Room

Recognizing and transforming
knowledge through musical trans-actions
Red Room

Knowing `I´?
Red Room

Summing up
Red Room

White Room

Il se tourna
Black Room

Vodou vibrations sounds of memories of fields and burdens living in translations and broken bows balancing on plateaus while speaking to one self and scratching the surface of the raft while drifting away
White Room

Abstracts and program notes

Marc Leman

Go To Hell: towards a gesture-based
compositional practice

Nguyen Thanh Thuy / Stefan Östersjö

This paper discusses the artistic application of motion capture data and of video analysis for artistic purposes in the making of Go To Hell, a site specific work set in a dismantled nuclear reactor. We give examples of how choreographies (performed by musicians, with and without their instruments), new music (for Vietnamese and Western instruments), installations and video art have all been drawn from analysis of Östersjö’s performance of the guitar composition “Toccata Orpheus” by Rolf Riehm (1990). In Riehm’s piece, the bodily action of the performer is treated as an intentional compositional parameter and the notated structure thus generates a specific choreography in performance. In Go To Hell, this approach is taken further towards the development of a gesture-based compositional practice, where composition is understood, not as the organisation of sound objects, but as the structuring of gestural-sonic objects (Godøy, 2006; Östersjö, 2008).

Music Enaction. Key points towards
radicalizing embodiment in music
Juan Loaiza

Cognition - sense-making - is an affective-laden activity that takes place across ‘minds, bodies, and environment’ (Varela, Thompson, Rosch 1991). Strong claims about the nature of cognition distinguishes Enactivism from other theories of embodiment in which the body is simply seen as contingent and the social environment as contextual, as well as theories in which the body is seen as causal of meaning but not continuously constitutive of sense-making processes (Kyselo, Di Paolo, 2013). The presentation will expand the discussion with some contrasting points: “Biographical” vs. “snapshot”: Critique to narrow time scales. The snapshot-like, laboratory approach to understand musical activity makes it easier to assume the individual experience as paradigmatic. In contrast to this, an ecologically valid approach brings to the foreground an agent’s history of social relationships and patterns of joint action (c.f. Varela et al. 1991; Gell 1998; Clarke 2005).
Enactive organisms vs. “epistemic minds”: Critique to mentalist and skull-bound explanations of cognition. Accounts of musical experience often portray the individual finding herself as if left in the middle of an opaque environment that has to be disentangled via mental epistemic moves. Enactivist approaches, in contrast, dis-localize cognition emphasizing the co-constitution of active autonomous organisms and its - more transparent - environment via sense-making (c.f. Gallagher 2005; Thompson 2007; Hutto 2013).
Complex and adaptive vs. “tidy” ordered systems: Critique to linear approaches to musical interaction. Theorizations and practices often rely on tight modelling and prediction; these however lack the flexibility to address social dynamics on-line. Interactions may be better understood within its own emergent normativity and relative autonomy (c.f. Thompson 2007; Di Paolo 2010; De Jaegher et al. 2009; Borgo 2005).
The presentation will bring to the table Enactive notions that stretch beyond the sensorimotor approach to music cognition, namely: autonomy, emergence, sense-making, experience, participation.

Brian Ferneyhough’s Kurze Schatten II:
shaping physical gesture through
Benjamin’s thought-images
Diego Castro

Ferneyhough’s seminal contribution to solo guitar repertoire, Kurze Schatten II (1983-89), takes its title from a sequence of texts by Walter Benjamin; Ferneyhough’s work contains seven movements, paralleling the seven pieces of text from Benjamin’s sequence. Insofar as previous studies on this work have not explored this relationship in depth, in this presentation I explore the correspondances between both texts, and most especially, I propose physical gesture as the domain of embodiment for both text’s concord in performance practice, including examples of live performance in order to illustrate it.

Recognizing and transforming knowledge through musical trans-actions
Bruno Faria

In this presentation I will delineate an explorative journey through which I intend to move beyond my situatedness as a classically trained interpreter of traditionally notated and acoustic music created by someone else towards incorporating more concretely a compositional and improvisational way of being by means of a Soundpainting-inspired approach to music making. From this work I propose the notion of musical trans-actions in the sense of actions carried out across boundaries, which become potential platforms for the expansion and deepening of embodied music cognition. The practice to be presented verbally and in performance is based upon a transformation of Soundpainting – originally a medium for live and non-verbal interaction between a Soundpainting composer (i.e., soundpainter) and one or more musicians, created in the mid 1970s by North-American musician Walter Thompson. In this transformation its body/hand signs acquire another kind of embodiment, a notational one. The musical parameters and procedural delimitations to which Soundpainting sign vehicles refer are transferred to paper by means of abbreviations of sign names and various graphic shapes. Through the design and performance of what I am calling Soundpainting-sketches I cross the ideological boundary that frequently separates music interpreters, improvisers, and composers. To provide further musical substance to such ideological trans-actions, I attempt to explore an expanded instrumental range (from contrabass to piccolo transverse flutes) and to gradually integrate elements of live electronics. The challenge of dealing with the concrete boundaries and resistances of the instruments themselves, usually restricted to the C-flute and piccolo in the standard repertoire, is deepened through the interchange of instruments within such extended flute range. On the other hand, the gradual incorporation of live electronics leads me beyond the boundary of acoustic playing, also a limit seldom surpassed in traditional training. From my perspective as a classically trained musician, Soundpainting-sketches, interchanging flutes, and electronics together, set a horizon for the recognition of some of the ways in which my embodied musical knowledge has been addressed through these trans-actions.

Knowing ‘I’?
Musical Subjectivity, Embodiment and Interaction

Catherine Laws

Who is the ‘I’ that performs? What, and how, does she ‘know’? The twentieth century saw the erosion of the western cultural notion of a singular, essential self, alongside the emergence of complex theorisations of the sense of self, or the production of subjectivity. Modernist crises of representation, the proclamation of the death of the author, postmodernist games with identity, and the impact of digital culture on the production and enaction of subjectivity: these have led to increased uncertainty with respect to the status of the self in the world, but also to a better understanding of its contingent, contextual, dynamic, embodied and performative condition. Moreover, the discourse of individuality persists, not least in musical practice. Music students often regard developing an individual performing ‘voice’ to be their main aim (Haddon), while popular media commentary encourages the idea of performance as self-realisation. However, music is inherently collaborative, and every musician develops a sound, style or performance persona through a process of identification with and differentiation from the playing of others: peers, teachers, and idolised performers of the past and present. The ‘sonic self’ (as Cumming put it) is therefore complex and fluid. Moreover, a musical persona enacts an embodied understanding of the world: the instrumentalist’s body is not merely a vehicle for the realisation of cognitized musical intentions. Rather, an instrument is a technology that helps shapes the subject. The body is disciplined, not an unfettered tool of expression: its knowledge is formed and reformed through play and practice.
I ask how subjectivity is instantiated and embodied in performance. How does the activity of musical performance, and the practices and interactions that lead to performance, both reflect and shape our understanding of individual felt experience? How do the dynamic relationships between musicians, musical materials, and the context of performance affect the production of subjectivity? How does this relate to understandings of creativity and identity?
The starting point is a performance of a new version of Annea Lockwood’s Ceci n’est pas un piano (originally 2002, for piano, electronics and video), reworked by Lockwood with a text written the performer. The piece is in part concerned with the performer’s relationship to her instrument and the development of artistic identity. This is coupled with performances of new pieces devised with composers Roger Marsh and Paul Whitty, as part of the practice-led research project ‘Piano Personae’ that examines the relationship between performance, experimentation, embodied knowledge and the production of musical subjectivities.

Jakob Riis

A solo performance by Jakob Riis for one loudspeaker, aluminium foil, computer and electronics. In a white gallery space you see a man working with a set up of one loudspeaker, a laptop, various electronic devices and a generous supply of aluminium foil. After mounting a piece of aluminium foil on the loudspeaker, the man turns over to his setup of a laptop computer, a small mixingboard and other electronic devices and starts to make sounds. At first you hear small movements of the alufoil creating subtle noises, the alufoil set in movement by the air moved by the membrane of the loudspeaker. Now a musical crescendo of significant duration takes place. The music are gradually turning into more noisy and louder sounds. At the end of the crescendo small bits and pieces of the alufoil are spit out from the points of the two bass reflex holes in the front of the cabinet. A portrait starts to embody... The music stops. The man removes the alufoil off the loudspeaker and hang it on the gallery walls. A portrait… This action is repeated continuously for two hours, resulting in about 20 - 25 portraits filling the space over time. The audience is free to enter, move around the space and leave during the time of the performance.

Il se tourna
Henrik Frisk / Anders Elberling

This work, commissioned for the performance installation Go to Hell in October 2013, is a reflection on the myth of the famous musician and poet Orpheus whose attempt to save his loved Eurydice from the underworld ends with fatal consequences. There are many different transcriptions of the myth, the most commonly referred version is from the time of Virgil in which Eurydice died from a fatal bite while attempting to escape a satyr. Another Roman poet, Ovid, wrote a version in which Eurydice’s death followed from her dancing with water nymphs on her wedding night. The moral undertone of this version is fascinating and opens up for different interpretations. Furthermore, then ending exists in several versions and with different, less tragic outcomes.
In this work we have superimposed the different versions but focused on the moment of Orpheus’ turning around, the fatal mistake that makes him loose Eurydice for good. Giving in to his desire to again see the face of his loved one, or is it perhaps his anxiety that Persephone and Hades have fooled him, is undoubtedly a big mistake? The video is a long ascending movement from the underworld and the original version with three screens made it impossible to see all screens at the same time. The viewer finds herself in a position similar to Orpheus’ dilemma.

Vodou vibrations sounds of memories of fields and burdens living in translations and broken bows
balancing on plateaus while speaking to one self and scratching the surface of the raft while drifting away

Nguyen Thanh Thuy / Marie Fahlin




Tacit or Loud

Festival program

– Inside/outside
– Post human computation
Arrival Cities: Hanoi
– The Fourth Dimension
– Vodou [...] 
– Il Se Tourna
Possible Worlds
– Face
– Inde
– Choreo Graphia
– Facet II
– Portraits

– Voices-of-No(i)sense
– [choreo] logy ⏐ carto [graphy]
– Reiterations of Dissent
– Body on street
– För den som i hemlighet lyssnar
– Gynoides project
– Violence and Pedagogy
– Knowing "I"?
– That’s all we shall no for truth
- Through Composition as Explanation
– Synsmaskinen

Symposium Nov 28-Dec 3
– Nov 28
– Nov 29
– Nov 30
– Dec 1
– Dec 2
– Dec 3

– Keynote speakers
– Presenters