Welcome to Music and/as Process

RMA Music and/as Process Study Group

3rd Annual Conference
6th June, Goldsmiths, University of London
with the support of the Contemporary Music Research Unit at Goldsmiths

Registration is now live! To register, follow this link.

This year the Music and/as Process study group extends our focus on practice-led research by hosting a day of practice-led presentations as a mini-festival. The day will take in composition, performance and lecture recitals and include a keynote lecture given by Dr Bryn Harrison (University of Huddersfield).

Spread the word! Download a poster here: MP 2015 Poster v2.

Call for Works and Lecture-Recitals
Proposals for works and lecture recitals of between 10 and 30 minutes are invited from scholars, composers and practitioners in all areas of process in music.

Proposals might include:
·         The performance presentation of new or existing compositions
·         Performances of works which involve process from any period of music
·         Lecture recitals demonstrating musical processes
·         Process-based improvisations
·         Composer-performer collaborative presentations

Proposals should include all of the details of the proposed work and presentation, including:
·         the names of the composer(s)/performer(s)
·         the title, length, and instrumentation of the work
·         a short description of the format of the presentation
·         a full list of any technical requirements (including instruments; NB we are unlikely to be able to accommodate proposals that need a very large amount of equipment or a very long set-up time)
·         a description of the role of process in the music, of no more than 200 words

Please send your proposals by email to Lauren Redhead: lauren.redhead@canterbury.ac.uk
Extended deadline for proposals: 25th March 2015

Notification of successful presentations can be expected in April.

In your proposal please clearly indicate all of the presenters, including any performers if you do not intend to perform your own work.  Unfortunately, the study group is not able to provide any financial assistance to attend the conference, or to support the creation or performance of works at the conference. All presenters and delegates (including performers who wish to attend the conference), will be required to pay the conference registration fee. This has not yet been fixed but is unlikely to exceed £10 for members of the RMA and £15 for others. The support of the CMRU ensures that the conference is free for all Goldsmiths staff and students.

Music and/as Process Study Group session 
RMA Annual Conference 2015
9-11 September, University of Birmingham

We are also hosting a session in the RMA Annual Conference this year, University of Birmingham, 9-11 September. Here are the details of the Music and/asProcess session, we’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Presenters: Dr James Saunders (Bath Spa University), Dr Fabrice Fitch (Royal Northern College of Music), Dr Larry Goves (Royal Northern College of Music), Dr Richard Glover (Wolverhampton University), Dr Steve Gisby (independent composer), Cara Stacey (University of Cape Town/School of Oriental and African Studies).

Click through to presenter abstracts and biographies here.

Session Outline

This session incorporates two major areas of interest for the Music and/as Process Study Group: music which is composed from, by, or can be said to be entirely, processes and practice-led or practice-as research. The session will comprise the presentation of research in composition, drawn from a call for works amongst the study group members, which includes or is based on process from members of the study group working across a variety of genres, styles and approaches in contemporary music. Music as process represents a compositional trend or tradition in contemporary music which has been most readily recognised in minimalist musics but also includes serialism, algorithmic composition, the inclusion of pre-tonal devices and non-western influences in music, and improvisatory approaches. As a result, today the composition of and using process transcends genre and represents an important line of enquiry for composer-researchers and improviser-researchers.

This session aims to represent the composers in the Music and/as Study Group in an innovative way. It creates the opportunity for them to present their work in a way which is particularly appropriate to research in this area, highlighting both the research and practice components of their work equally. The members of the Music and/as Process Study Group are investigating many relatively new areas or practice and research; in particular the spaces between improvisation and composition and the boundaries between practice and process. Recent areas of interest have emerged as devised music, collaboration, and process in relation to graphic, text and open notation.

Important considerations in the presentation of practice-led research are that the music should be allowed to speak for itself and that that the music should be recognised as the research itself, rather than merely a presentation or demonstration of research knowledge. These two considerations are reflected in the non-traditional presentation of the work of practitioner-researchers in this session. It attempts to bridge the gap between research presentations and practice presentations in a lecture recital style structure which will be part way between a concert and a conference session. Composers will offer short introductions to their music, accompanied by critical programme notes. Their works will then be heard in full either as live performances or recordings. Such presentation of work has been trialled at the annual Music and/as Process conferences leading to fruitful discussion about issues in and around the music presented, and the perception by the composers involved that the research aims of their work have been clearly articulated.

BLOG POSTS


RMA Session: New Manifestoes for Process in Music 

We’re happy to share the details of our themed session at the RMA annual conference this year. The theme of manifestoes has yielded some very interesting and diverse results and talking points, and we’re looking forward to a rich discussion. Below are the titles of the manifestoes/positions that will be delivered and the biographies of our contributors. 

Introduction and chair
Dr Lauren Redhead (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Manifestoes

Dr Richard Glover (Wolverhampton University)
“How to Communicate Music as a Gradual Process”

Sophie Stone (Canterbury Christ Church University)
“Extended Duration Experimental Music”

Dr Cara Stacey (Independent Composer)
“Reflections on Composition and Ethnomusicology from a Southern African Perspective”

Keren Levi (Independent Choreographer) and Tom Parkinson (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Footnotes for Crippled Symmetry: Making new work after Morton Feldman’s Crippled Symmetry in 2018 – a manifesto”

Dr Alistair Zaldua (Canterbury Christ Church University)
“The Processes of Translation”

Dr Lisa Busby (Goldsmiths, University of London)
“Protocols, Policies, and Proposals Performed”

Respondent:
Dr Matthew Sergeant (Bath Spa University)

Biographies

Lauren Redhead is Senior Lecturer in 20th and 21st Century Music at Goldsmiths, University of London from 1st September 2018. Her primary research interests are the aesthetics and socio-semiotics of music. She is a composer of experimental music and a performer of music for organ and electronics.

Richard Glover is a composer and writer. His music explores gradual process, perception in reductionist sound environments and experimental approaches to notation. His portrait CD Logical Harmonies was released in 2013, and his music has been performed internationally by ensembles such as the Bozzini Quartet and musikFabrik, among others. He has published book chapters and articles on Phill Niblock, minimalism and technology, and the perception of sustained tone music. He is Reader in Music at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.

Sophie Stone is a composer of experimental music and is currently studying for a practice research PhD at Canterbury Christ Church University with Dr Lauren Redhead and Prof Matt Wright. Her research explores extended duration music and the performance situations, compositional strategies and the uses and types of silence that surround it. Sophie’s recent projects include a solo organ work titled Amalgamations (2016), “As Sure as Time…” (2016-?), an ongoing series for spoken voices, and Continuum (2017-2018), an electroacoustic 90-minute immersive installation. Her work has been presented in concerts, as installations and at conferences in Canterbury, Liverpool, Leeds, Huddersfield, Edinburgh and London. In 2018, New Sound: International Journal of Music published a co-authored article by Sophie, Dr Steve Gisby, Dr Alistair Zaldua and Dr Lauren Redhead on ‘Performing Temporal Processes’, which was presented at the Royal Musical Association Annual Conference at the University of Liverpool in 2017.

Cara Stacey is a South African musician, composer and researcher. She is a pianist and plays southern African musical bows (umrhubhe, uhadi, makhweyane). Her debut album ‘Things that grow’ features Shabaka Hutchings, Seb Rochford, Ruth Goller, and Crewdson (released in September 2015, Kit Records). In 2018, she released ‘Ceder’, a collaborative duo project with Peruvian musician Camilo Ángeles. Cara collaborates with percussionist and drummer Sarathy Korwar in the project Pergola and is a member of the Cape Town-based Shh..Art Ensemble. Cara holds a PhD in African music from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, a Masters in musicology (Edinburgh), and an MMus in musical performance from SOAS (London). Her doctoral research explored the makhweyane braced-bow of Swaziland. She has been an NRF Freestanding Doctoral scholar, a Commonwealth Split-Site scholar, and the recipient of funding from the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust and the University of Cape Town.

Choreographer Keren Levi (the Netherlands) and composer Tom Parkinson (UK) have made seventeen pieces together between Gravel in 2000 and Footnotes for Crippled Symmetry in 2018. This has included Territory (2004), CoupleLike (2005), The Dry Piece (2012) and Clubbing (2015). Their work is often concerned with creating other meeting points between music and dance than emotional or narrative affect or cross-modal metaphor. One of the recurring themes in their pieces is the performance of music as choreography. This is not to create a hybrid art form but to situate the performing body in an alternative disciplinary context.

Alistair Zaldua is a composer of contemporary and experimental music and has written work for: chamber ensemble, solo instrument, live electronics, audio/visual installation, and orchestra. His work has received performances from highly acclaimed ensembles and performers such as: ensemble surplus, Ensemble Aventure, Ensemble Modern, Composers Slide Quartet, and Ian Pace, Mark Knoop, Jonathan Powell, Rei Nakamura, Adam Linson, Lauren Redhead. His work consists of both fixed notated scores, as well as openly notated work and has been performed both internationally at festivals for contemporary music: Borealis (Bergen, Norway, 2014), UsineSonore (Malleray-Bevilard, Switzerland, 2012), REM (Bremen, 2011), Delmenhorst (2010), Quantensprünge ZKM (Karlsruhe, 2007 & 2008), Freiburger Frühling (2006), Música Nova (Sao Paolo, 2006), and Núcleo Música Nueva (Montevideo, 2006). Alistair currently teaches at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Lisa Busby is a Scottish composer, vocalist, DJ and Senior Lecturer is Music at Goldsmiths, University of London, and part of the core teaching team in popular music praxis. Lisa performs and composes with a number of ensembles (Rutger Hauser, The Nomadic Female DJ Troupe) and has a solo practice that situates itself across the boundaries of electronic music, improvisation, performance art, and pop music/culture. She often works across media in long duration forms, performance video, text based score, installation and site specific performance. Throughout her work she is interested in exploring the fringes of song; how pop culture artefacts can be set in new and unusual contexts; and the appropriation of everyday objects and scenarios with a particular specialism in using domestic playback media and objects as instrumentsHer research practice focuses on illuminating process; ‘availablism’ and lo-fi intermediality; DIY scenes and the ‘no audience underground’.

Matthew Sergeant is a composer and senior lecturer in composition at Bath Spa University. Matthew’s research currently focuses on the materiality of sound and the agency of non-sentient things. He is currently the director of SoMa, the Sonic Materialities Laboratory at Bath Spa University, the current chair of the Royal Musicological Association Sonic Makers’ Research Group co-founder of the pan-institutional Music and Materialisms research network. Current projects include co-editing volumes on theories and practices of contemporary music and on music and time. Matthew studied composition at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) before reading for his PhD at the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM) at the University of Huddersfield. He has held teaching positions at both the University of Huddersfield and the Royal Northern College of Music and has given numerous guest lectures around the world.

Registration is Open!

Registration for this year’s conference is open! There are Early Bird discounts until 1st June, after which the price will increase slightly.

If you are a member of the Royal Musical Association, a currently registered student or an Early Career Researcher without a current institutional affiliation, you can register at a reduced rate. To register, click here.

If you are not a member of the Royal Musical Association, you can register at the full rate, here.

If you’d like to join the Royal Musical Association, you can do so here.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference!

6th Annual Conference: Schedule

The provisional schedule for the 6th Annual Conference, which takes place at Edinburgh Napier University from June 29th to July 1st, is now available here – MusPro 2018 – Schedule v3

This year’s event will include presentations and performances from Andy Ingamells, Tom Parkinson, Claire Brady, Christel Philp, John Hails, Ben Horner, Pernille Ravn, Isaac Fernandez, Jannis van de Sande, Zubin Kanga, Neil Luck, Emmanuelle Waeckerle, Natasa Penezic, Tijana Popovic Mladjenović, Richard Glover, David Pocknee, Steve Gisby and Lauren Redhead.

Call for Manifestoes

Call for Manifestoes for RMA Annual Conference Session: New Manifestoes for Process in Music. The study group is seeking proposals for manifestoes as 5 minute videos or 500 word statements for a conference session. Please send your manifesto to Dr Lauren Redhead (lauren.redhead@canterbury.ac.uk) by 1st June if you would like to be included.

NB: it is likely that the study group will not be able to include all manifestoes received, but will consider those not part of the session for the future publication derived from it. Please also note the commitment to gender balance in this session; women and non-binary artists are especially encouraged to apply.

Rationale

The Music and/as Process Study group has frequently cited approaches to process in music by Reich (1975) and Nyman (1974). While not the only approaches or descriptions of musical processes, these are some of the most commonly cited and understood examples. These references might act as touchstones for those with an interest in musical processes, but they do not encompass the full range of approaches to music and/as process that the study group represents. More recent approaches to process in music, such as those that can be found in Gottschalk (2016) or Saunders et al (2009) are also of interest to those scholars who contribute to the study group, but are essentially historical and/or analytical, describing the process-based approaches to music that have been taken, but not necessarily defining those that will, or might be taken. The practices of particular composers, such as Tom Johnson, Pauline Oliveros, Christian Wolff, Phill Niblock, James Tenney and Éliane Radigue, to name a few examples, provides further points of contact but similarly examples or points of departure rather than approaches to musical processes for future study and creative practice. In addition, the activities of the study group have highlighted the need to further understand the impacts of current research upon perceptual and cognitive systems of processes in music.

Therefore, the aims of this session are threefold:

  • to refresh the understanding of the scope and definition of musical processes within the study group by inviting provocative approaches to the topic,
  • to re-examine the manifesto as a tool for artistic practice in music, and
  • to promote performative approaches to musicology beyond the historical, analytical, and observational.

The session will comprise new manifestos addressing the topic of process in music.We welcome these from the members of the study group, and musicologists and creative artists with similar interests internationally. We also welcome and encourage practice-research and interdisciplinary or performative responses alongside the traditionally written or text-based. The selection process will prioritise diversity, with an expectation of selecting at least 50% female or non-binary scholars/artists. As such, it will attempt to address gender disparity in existing writing on musical processes as a secondary aim.

Each manifesto will be limited to 500 words or 5 minutes, to be delivered at the conference in person as a paper or performance, or as a video. The session will respond to these manifestos through  invited respondents who will expand on the shared themes and approaches that may be found across the selected manifestos, and will suggest future directions for the study of process in music.

6th Annual Conference Keynote Speaker: Cornelius Schwehr.

We are delighted to announce that our keynote speaker for this year’s conference will be Cornelius Schwehr.

Professor Schwehr studied with Walter Heck, Klaus Huber, Peter Förtig, Denise Lavenchy and Helmut Lachenmann, and lectures in composition, theory and film music at the Freiburg Musikhochschule. Between 2009 and 2017 he was the director of their Institute for Contemporary Music, having previously lectured at the Karlsruhe Musikhochschule and the Musikhochschule Winterthur in Switzerland.

A member of the Berlin Academy of Arts, his music includes a large number of chamber music pieces, many works for solo instrument, several orchestral pieces, and an opera, Heimat. He has also collaborated with various authors and directors, with over 30 works for film, radio and the stage,.

Published by Breitkopf und Härtel, Schwehr’s work has been performed in Berlin, Duisburg, Geneva, Graz, Innsbruck, Saarbrücken, Stuttgart, Warsaw, Witten and Zurich. He is the recipient of numerous awards, honours and grants, including from the Gaudeamus Music Week (1980) Ensemblia Competition of Mönchengladbach (1981), the Heinrich Strobel Stiftung of the South German Radio, the Baden-Württemberg Arts Council.

In his own words…

My work (in all genres) is most notably determined by the question of what we can learn from our tradition and what meaningful experiences does this still allow.

The question is not trivial: as I understand it, it addresses the central nerves of composition. However, it is not important to seek conclusions, it is more necessary to insist that this question is posed again and again.

In addition to this, I have become ever more aware of my work and findings with the relationship between music and language (both spoken and written). This theme has preoccupied my since I began composing.

More recently my concrete concerns are to take both word—which already consists of a unit made of both sound and meaning—with speech sound, and take speech sound at its word, and amidst this interplay, to uncover music and set it free.

http://cornelius-schwehr.de/werke.html

RMA Music and/as Process Study Group 6th Annual Conference

Call for Papers/Lecture Performances
Conference: Music and Language Friday 29th June – Sunday 1st July, 2018
Edinburgh Napier University, School of Arts and Creative Industries, Merchiston Campus

We welcome proposals for contributions in the following formats:

  • Paper (20 minutes + 10 minutes questions)
  • Lecture Recital (30 minutes)
  • Participatory lecture/workshop (30 minutes)

The theme of the conference is Music and Language, in both its spoken and written forms.

Whilst the Music and/as Process Study Group has previously been aimed towards the field of music, the call remains open to practitioners and researchers within the spoken arts, and sound poetry and beyond who are drawn towards an association with the theme.

Particular themes covered might include:

  • Sound Poetry
  • Linguistic processes in composition and new music performance
  • Oulipo
  • Radio art (or Hörspiel)
  • Concrete Poetry / Phonetic art / Lautpoesie
  • Spoken/Written Language in the construction of new music/performance/creative work
  • Interactive spoken word performance
  • Translation

Proposals should include all of the details of the proposed contribution:

  • the name(s) of presenter(s)
  • email address of presenter(s)
  • affiliated academic institution
  • title of paper/lecture-recital/workshop
  • 200-word abstract
  • [for participatory workshops only] description of the format of the workshop
  • A full list of any technical requirements and other resources

Please send your proposals by email to Alistair Zaldua: alistair.zaldua@canterbury.ac.uk
Deadline for proposals: Friday, 09 March 2018 Notification of successful presentations can be expected in late March 2018.

In your proposal please clearly indicate all of the presenters, including any performers if you do not intend to perform your own work. Unfortunately, the study group is not able to provide any financial assistance to attend the conference, or to support the creation or performance of works at the conference.

All presenters and performers will be required to register and pay the conference fee. At present we are working to keep this as low as possible, and we do not anticipate it being higher than £50, with a discount for students, unaffiliated ECRs, and RMA members.

Call for Performers: RMA Conference

The study group have successfully proposed a themed session for the RMA’s 53rd Annual Conference at the University of Liverpool. The conference takes place from Thursday 7th until Saturday 9th September 2017 and the session will take place on Saturday 9th September from 14.00-15.30

Performers are invited to take part in the session in two of the pieces that will be presented. These are:

Sophie Stone “As Sure As Time…” (2016, for any number of speaking voices; performance directed by the composer)

and

Mathias Spahlinger eigenzeit from vorschläge (1992-3, for any number of performers with objects; performance directed by Alistair Zaldua)

Programme notes for both pieces are below.

If you would like to join one or both of the performances in the session, please contact Lauren Redhead <lauren.redhead@canterbury.ac.uk> who will be chairing the session, by 30th June 2017.

Anyone who attends the RMA conference, including those who perform in the session need to register. Unfortunately, the study group is unable to offer funds to support this. The conference fees are very reasonable, particularly the ‘early bird’ rates, and a discount is offered for members of the RMA. Details of the conference and fees can be found here: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/music/rma2017/

“As sure as time…” is part of an ongoing series of performances that use the same score. It is a spoken word piece that can be performed by one to four vocalists, and includes a variety of structural elements, sound/vocal techniques and movements. The score consists of a quote from Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman (London: William Heinemann, 2015): “As sure as time, history is repeating itself, and as sure as man is man, history is the last place he’ll look for his lesson”. The work allows for performer interpretation with the vocalist performing an individual compositional process; where there are several performers, several compositional processes occur simultaneously. Rather than a traditional concert performance, the listener should experience the work as an installation in a gallery or other environment, allowing them to explore the environment as they wish to, talk and enter/leave when they like. When observed in its entirety, the series presents a new sense of extended duration with long silences separating the performances and the totality being the performance of the work itself. The work also highlights the numerous interpretations of silence as silences of unpredictable length are used within the performances and between each performance; the interpretation of silence is thus questioned as it never truly exists.

eigenzeit is one of over 25 concepts contained in Mathias Spahlinger’s work (written in 1993) vorschläge (suggestions). The instructions read:

“find or invent possible objects or performance methods that are barely modifiable regarding their tempo, rhythm, and total duration; and which, once they have begun, cannot be further influenced; and whose processes cannot be reversed.

examples and suggestions: circling plates and cymbals, falling ping-pong balls, pendulating giant feathers, buzzing/snapping a ruler held over a table-edge, marbles thrown over a marble lane, rubber balls thrown down the stairs, etc.

each player decides by themselves when to play, and how they ‘stage’ their unique, and unmistakable sounds, bearing in mind their approximate duration. frequent accumulation of density and vain repetitions are to be avoided.” (Translation: Alistair Zaldua)

Performing Temporal Processes: RMA Annual Conference Session

In September, the study group will present a session at the RMA annual conference, titled: Performing Temporal Processes. This session also represents a co-authored article by members of the Study Group that will be published in 2018 in the New Sound International Journal of  Music.

 

Session outline: 

All process music deals with time as a part of its material. However, in the case of this music, the experience of time in music is not simply the experience of music as Zeitkunst (in Adorno’s terms), but the experience of time itself. Where many musical works offer an experience of time as an experience of change or development, process works offer the opportunity to experience time as time. That is to say, these works offer the expression and experience of units of time that are defined by, and enclose, processes. Where the duration of a non-process work might be defined by its form, here the work’s form is defined by its duration.

This experience of musical time has been described by Lawrence Kramer as ‘vertical time’ (1981/1988): the extended perception of a single moment. Such an experience of vertical time might be easily identified in Steve Gisby’s Iterative Music and Alistair Zaldua’s Foreign Languages. Both works are entirely prescriptive—even to the level of moment-to-moment duration in the case of the Gisby. Yet, in their performance, the moment-to-moment sonic details of the work remain undefined and are discoverable only as they unfold highlighting an unexpected characteristic of highly prescriptive music: its unpredictability.

Henri Bergson’s (1889;1910) Time and Free Will outlines the distinction between a ‘scientific’ understanding of time—as units of duration understood as a spatial metaphor—and ‘real duration’ which is the experience of time passing in the present. This is expressed as a differentiation between a quantitative and a qualitative multiplicity. In the latter case “several conscious states are organised into a whole, permeate one another, gradually gain a richer content.” (1910, p.122). By enacting such ‘scientific’ processes of spatial duration in their approach to time in their works, the composers featured in this session conversely allow the experience of ‘real duration’ through the reification of the quantitative multiplicity of time on the surface of their music. In Mathias Spahlinger’s eigenzeit the duration of the piece is clearly determined by the duration of its processes, although these durations remain undetermined until they are enacted. In foreign languages time is determined by a series of actions that have no duration until they are enacted. Sophie Stone takes this further in “As sure as time…” by imagining each performance of the piece to be a unit of duration in a theoretical meta-performance of the work, and hearing the spaces between them as silence. These composers, then, show how the performance of temporal process “un-mixes” space and time through making concrete the quantitative nature of units of duration and shifting the focus of the listener to an experience of vertical time.

This session foregrounds the experience of these works, first presenting them as compositional research outcomes. Each performance involves the piece’s composer, excepting that by Mathias Spahlinger which will be performed by members of the study group. The performance will be followed by a round table discussion of the temporal processes and issues in the music, bringing out the common research themes and interests between the composers.

Programme Notes

Iterative Music is an ongoing series of pieces that Steve Gisby has been composing since 2014. There are four in the series so far, which are all identical in terms of both structure and duration. They were created using a simple mathematical process that involves gradually assembling and then superimposing five layers of audio material, with each layer building up in the exact same way. The process itself is fundamentally very simple but, even if it has been correctly perceived by the listener, there is no possibility of predicting exactly what musical material each new step in the process will bring – meaning the piece is simultaneously predictable and unpredictable. The project has now been developed for live performance. Using pre-prepared audio material, Ableton Live and MaxMSP, a piece can be created that follows the same mathematical process. It is impossible, from the outset of a piece that uses this process, to conceive of the composite patterns that will emerge as a result. A key feature in the approach to performing the piece live has been the incorporation of a degree of indeterminacy in regard to the rate at which the process progresses. In Music As A Gradual Process, Steve Reich stated that “One can’t improvise in a musical process – the concepts are mutually exclusive.” Gisby believes this depends on where one sets the parameters of a process: what material, or elements of a piece are determined by the process, and what aren’t? This juxtaposition of performer autonomy as a counterpoint to strict, logical systems has been a feature his work.

foreign languages for solo percussion and live electronics was inspired by reading both Maurice Blanchot’s Death Sentence which is a short novel in two cryptically related parts, and Jacques Derrida’s commentary on Blanchot’s text. This work is not representational in any way; Zaldua’s interest was to foreground the problem of translation in a work for percussion. More than works for any other instrument percussions pieces define their cumulative ‘instrument’ anew with almost every piece.

The composer will be performing the 2nd part of this two-part piece, for solo cymbal and live electronics. The deliberately curtailed notation presents the performer with a map of the cymbal with a set of directions for the beater to follow. The rhythm used is the rhythm of the performer’s own (internally) spoken voice (derived from the original French and translated English of the Blanchot text) which is tracked by the computer to trigger changes in the compressor and filter settings. While playing, harmonics are accessed using simple paper beakers, and this, as well as the tracked spoken rhythms, in turn influences the filter settings in the electronics.

eigenzeit is one of over 25 concepts contained in Mathias Spahlinger’s work (written in 1993) vorschläge (suggestions). The instructions read:

“find or invent possible objects or performance methods that are barely modifiable regarding their tempo, rhythm, and total duration; and which, once they have begun, cannot be further influenced; and whose processes cannot be reversed.

examples and suggestions: circling plates and cymbals, falling ping-pong balls, pendulating giant feathers, buzzing/snapping a ruler held over a table-edge, marbles thrown over a marble lane, rubber balls thrown down the stairs, etc.

each player decides by themselves when to play, and how they ‘stage’ their unique, and unmistakable sounds, bearing in mind their approximate duration. frequent accumulation of density and vain repetitions are to be avoided.”

“As sure as time…” is part of an ongoing series of performances that use the same score. It is a spoken word piece that can be performed by one to four vocalists, and includes a variety of structural elements, sound/vocal techniques and movements. The score consists of a quote from Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman (London: William Heinemann, 2015): “As sure as time, history is repeating itself, and as sure as man is man, history is the last place he’ll look for his lesson”. The work allows for performer interpretation with the vocalist performing an individual compositional process; where there are several performers, several compositional processes occur simultaneously. Rather than a traditional concert performance, the listener should experience the work as an installation in a gallery or other environment, allowing them to explore the environment as they wish to, talk and enter/leave when they like. When observed in its entirety, the series presents a new sense of extended duration with long silences separating the performances and the totality being the performance of the work itself. The work also highlights the numerous interpretations of silence as silences of unpredictable length are used within the performances and between each performance; the interpretation of silence is thus questioned as it never truly exists.

Composer Biographies 

Steve Gisby is a composer, bassist and educator based near London, UK. He holds a PhD in composition from Brunel University and his music has been performed across the UK, Europe and the USA. Two of his works appear on Symmetry | Reflection, the recent CD by US percussion duo Novus Percutere, alongside music by Steve Reich, John Psathas, Chrisopher Adler, Ivan Trevino and Luis Rivera. In May 2014, along with pianist Michael Bonaventure, he gave the world premiere performance of Tom Johnson’s Intervals.  He has given papers and presentations at IRCAM, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Furman University in South Carolina, California State University at Long Beach, Canterbury Christ Church University, the University of Surrey, the University of Birmingham and the University of Huddersfield. He is on the committee for the Society for Minimalist Music. He also works as an examiner for Trinity College London on their Rock & Pop syllabus, having conducted exams in the UK, Northern Ireland, Italy, India, Vietnam, South Africa, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau.

http://www.stevegisby.com / http://www.iterative-music.com

Alistair Zaldua is a composer and conductor of contemporary and experimental music who currently teaches at Canterbury Christ Church University. His work has been performed both internationally and in the UK: Huddersfield Festival (2014), Sampler Series Barcelona (2014), Borealis (Bergen, Norway, 2014), Leeds New Music Festival (2013), UsineSonore (Malleray-Bevilard, Switzerland, 2012), Quantensprünge ZKM (Karlsruhe, 2007 & 2008), Música Nova (Sao Paolo, 2006). Alistair currently works with Lauren Redhead in performances for organ and live electronics, and improvises in a duet with film maker Adam Hodgkins (violin and live electronics).

alistiar-zaldua.de

mathias spahlinger was born in frankfurt in 1944. his father was a cellist. from 1951, he received lessons from his father in fiddle, viola, recorder and later, violoncello. he began piano lessons in 1952. from 1959 spahlinger developed an intense interest in jazz, took saxophone classes and wanted to be a jazz musician. in 1962 he left school and began an apprenticeship as a typesetter. during the apprenticeship he took private classes in composition with konrad lechner. after completing his apprenticeship he continued his studies with lechner at the städtischen akademie für tonkunst (state academy of music) in darmstadt (piano classes with werner hoppstock). in 1968 he took up a teaching position at the stuttgart musikschule (music school), teaching piano, theory, musical education for children and experimental music. from 1973-1977 he studied composition with erhard karkoschka at stuttgart’s staatliche hochschule für musik und darstellende kunst (state academy of music and performing arts.) in 1978 he became guest lecturer in music theory at the hochschule der künste (arts university) in berlin, and in 1984 professor for composition and music theory at the staatliche hochschule für musik (state academy of music) in karlsruhe. from 1990 to 2009 he held the position of professor of composition and head of the institute for new music at the staatliche hochschule für musik (state academy of music) in freiburg. he currently lives in potsdam near berlin.

Sophie Stone is a PhD student in music composition at Canterbury Christ Church University working under the supervision of Lauren Redhead and Matt Wright. She received her bachelor and master of music degrees at CCCU specialising in composition. Her research interests include extended duration music and the compositional and performance strategies that surround this genre.

5th Annual Conference: Programme

You can download our conference programme for 2017 here:

MusPro 2017 Schedule

Free Registration is Now Open for our 5th Annual Conference

You are warmly invited to attend the Fifth Annual RMA Music and/as Process Conference at the University of Wolverhampton’s Performance Hub in Walsall on Saturday 20 May. This year’s conference is in association with the Society for Minimalist Music.

This one-day conference is themed around patterns, with presentations covering a range of subjects from hip hop as musical process to old and new minimalisms, and from sight-reading pattern recognition to compositional structures as dramaturgical tools. Jennie Gottschalk, author of the recent Bloomsbury book Experimental Music since 1970, will give the keynote, and Paul Cassidy will present a solo performance of Steve Reich’s Piano Phase in the evening concert. A detailed programme for the day is attached to this email, and the conference will be followed by an informal meal at the Metro Inn by the Walsall Campus.

Information for the UoW Walsall campus can be found here:

http://www.wlv.ac.uk/about-us/contacts-and-maps/all-maps-and-directions/map-and-directions-for-walsall-campus/

Registration for the conference is free; lunch and refreshments are provided throughout the day. If you would like to attend the conference, please register by following the link to the eventbrite page below, detailing any particular accessibility or dietary requirements:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/music-andas-process-2017-conference-tickets-34200597909

The recommended accommodation for the conference is the Metro Inn, within a few minutes’ walk of the campus:

http://metroinnswalsall.co.uk

There is more accommodation in central Walsall (a 30-min walk from campus, or a short bus/taxi ride away):

Premier Inn:

http://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/england/west-midlands/walsall/walsall-town-centre.html

Lyndon House Hotel

http://www.lyndonhousehotel.co.uk

The Park Inn by Radisson is slightly closer to campus, further along the ring road:

https://www.parkinn.co.uk/hotel-birminghamwalsall

If you have any further questions about the event, please contact Richard Glover.

We look forward to see you there!

The RMA Music and/as Process Study Group in association with the Society for Minimalist Music

The conference is supported by the University of Wolverhampton and the Royal Musical Association

Information for the UoW Walsall campus can be found here:

http://www.wlv.ac.uk/about-us/contacts-and-maps/all-maps-and-directions/map-and-directions-for-walsall-campus/

Please note that there is also an X51 (express) bus service which runs by the Walsall campus from Birmingham city centre.

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