3 May 2021

all times are in CEST (UTC +2)

13-16:00 Papers and Performance-Papers presentations
This session will occur live online via Zoom
Zoom link

Winnie Huang & Thomas R. Moore: Welcome and Introduction

Lien Pisters, O2 Vitality Online: Vitality training, a 20 minute vitality training for musicians.

Ajtony Csaba: Conducting as a multisensory instrument

Xavier Le Roy’s dance piece Sacre du printemps, Applebaum’s Tlön, Schnebel’s Nostalgie and the practice of Soundpainting all engage with a quality of conducting movements that is set apart from the functional, normative, every day use. The intentional use of conducting gestures’ semantic potential also sheds light on a novel methodology for the analysis of functional conducting. In the second part of the 20th Century, the permeabilization of performing genres shifted the emphasis of conducting from a primarily norming function to a transmodal complex that incorporates elements of dance, visual performance and the capacity for conveying autonomous content. The corporeal semantics (Leman, 2010) of conducting gestures is traditionally perceived as the modal translation of musical representational gestures and topoi (Hatten, 1994; Agawu, 2014). 
This paper disassociates conducting from music performance and examines it as a self-contained, gesture-based discipline in order to explore conducting’s volatile relationship to the sounding result and the written musical text in contemporary, standard and historically informed performance practices. In dialogue with Scriabin’s light organ in Prometheus, the paper suggests a framework that defines conducting as a visual instrument.

Geoffa Fells: Embodied Experience; inhabiting an Exoplanet

Embodied Experience; Inhabiting an Exoplanet is a collaborative collection of immersive worlds based upon embodied experiences of composers who are survivors of trauma. Using a process of meditation and daydreaming practice to connect with what is felt inside the body, these embodied experiences will be communicated through the metaphor of navigating and inhabiting the surface of distant planets. Each of these planets has an atmosphere, gravity, temperature and terrain that is different from our own familiar Earth. Research into Rae Johnson’s ‘Embodied Social Justice’ and bell hooks’ feminist theory has prompted our inquiry into finding new ways to communicate
embodied experience. We all inhabit bodies that are capable of both oppressing others and being oppressed and oppression, whether based upon gender, race, ability or age, is similarly held and experienced inside the body, impacting how we feel, move and communicate.
This piece by Fells and Marcelo Lazcano begins with a meditative story to focus our attention first towards our own bodies and then to build an empathetic awareness of the bodies of others including those of the performers, artists and audience, all of whom have different embodied experiences to our own. Taking inspiration from the text scores of Pauline Oliveros,
particularly her notion of ‘listening inwards’ for sound, instrumental lines explore specific frustrations in relation to managing feelings of disconnection, numbness, anger and restlessness. The movement of performers will also be captured sonically through noise making materials like survival blankets. Sounds and textures form planetary landscapes that have emerged naturally in response to listening inwards and spending time
responding to the body’s need to move or engage with grounding techniques.

Short Break

Dr. Litha Efthymiou: Gesture studies in music

Gesture studies in music have, up until now, focussed on performances of music, not on the composition of music. Several scholars have analysed the physical gestures of performers playing existing repertoire on different instruments. Gestures analysed have been those undertaken by performers, either consciously or unconsciously, and include both sound-producing gestures – those that are used to execute a note – and non-sound-producing gestures – those that are used in between or during the execution of notes that do not result in the production of sound, such as a head nod (Jensenius, Wanderley, Godoy, Leman, 2010). Studies highlight that layers of meaning can be communicated to audiences through performers’ physical gestures (Davidson, 1993; Elsdon, 2006; Wanderley and Vines, 2006, Dahl, Bevilacqua, Bresin, Clayton, Leante, Poggi, Rasamimanana, 2010). The importance of physical gesture and its capacity to play a significant expressive role in music has, however, been overlooked by composers. 
The proposed paper will focus on a new study which measures the impact on audiences of three specifically composed physical gestures in Efthymiou’s new composition for the Bury St Edmunds Concert Band. The study, which uses a newly created tracker device designed by computer scientists at the University of Lincoln, is currently in progress. It measures audiences’ perception of levels of tension experienced while listening and watching, verses listening (only) to the same bit of music (the opening section of the piece, which displays elaborate physical gesture).  The second part of the paper will focus on how the findings of this study will be used to further develop a gesture-based composition for the Concert Band, revealing the extent to which physical gesture can meaningfully advance the range of expressive devices available to composers in the field of contemporary music composition.

Chiara Saccone: Metodo per suonare il pianoforte, Quit Classic Music

“Metodo per suonare il pianoforte” by Giuseppe Chiari will be discussed and performed in order to investigate how a pianist can develop new gestural skills. Between 1964 and 1976 the Italian composer and artist Giuseppe Chiari wrote a series of scores called “Metodi per suonare” (Methods of playing). In his Methods, Chiari gave detailed instructions on how to play, among others, a room, a piece of paper, rocks, guitar, chairs, cello, boxes and piano. He used both verbal and graphic notation to accurately describe the movements and the actions required to perform the score. There is no ironic intent, on the contrary a serious commitment is asked to the
Working on the method of playing the piano, the performer is forced to forget the normal technique acquired during years of study and is pushed to learn a completely new set of gestures. To say it with Chiari’s words the pianist has to Quit Classic Music. Two fundamental aspects will be investigated: the relation between the body and the
instrument and the centrality of the visual element. It will be shown how practicing on the instrument a new set of gestures that radically change the classical approach can be the first move towards a new repertoire in which
physical, theatrical and visual elements are equal to sound. It will also be presented how this new practice affects the relationship between the performer and the instrument.
Gesti sul piano –Metodo per suonare il pianoforte

19-20:00 Keynote Address, ‘NOTES ON post Instrumental Practices’ BY Håkon Stene, Professor of Percussion, Hochschule für Musik Freiburg im Breisgau
This session will occur live online via Zoom
Zoom link

This talk discusses new performance practices emerging in the New Music scene after 1950 in which the fundamentals of musical craftsmanship and the role of the performer have been explored. Further, it presents recent works and developments in this tradition, where the merging of instruments, unusual sound sources and other media are mixed into new, hybrid performance practices.
I will argue that one of the driving forces behind this hybrid performer aesthetic has been works involving percussionists and extended notions of percussion. Although percussion belongs to the oldest crafts in musical arts, the art form has expanded immensely in recent decades. Alongside an overall search for expansion of the sonic palette in Western art music, and along with that the inclusion of unconventional instruments, the role of the percussionist has come to include far more than merely hitting stuff.
The growing presence of percussion in classical music was primarily linked to avant-garde movements flourishing in the first decades of the 20th century. Along with everyday objects, machines, mechanical and electronic instruments, it emerged as a fresh medium for expanding the timbral palette, perfectly suiting the movement’s quest for breaking new musical ground beyond the romantic tradition and mainstream conformism. This movement also fostered a new breed of performers. Emerging first as multi-tasking percussionists within the classical orchestra, later as co-creators of a new genre during the 1950s and 1960s through works by Cage, Stockhausen, Feldman, Lachenmann, Kagel et al, the hybrid performers of the percussion section developed skills that were unparalleled in classical music: incorporating every thinkable sound producing object as instruments.
Works by composers such as Simon Steen-Andersen, Juliana Hodginson, Simon Löffler, and others will be presented.

20-21:00 Evening Performances
This session will occur live online via Zoom
Zoom link

Thomas R. Moore: Light Music (2004, rev 2021) by Thierry De Mey

Winnie Huang & Dr. Jessie Marino: Tentacles (2020) by Winnie Huang

RCA Guitar Ensemble & Thomas R. Moore: Six to Five (2021), premiere, by Jessie Marino

4 May 2021

all times are in CEST (UTC +2)

10:30-11:30 Performance-Lecture
This session will be live-streamed over YouTube
YouTube link

Thomas R. Moore: Solo for Sliding Trombone (1957-58) by John Cage
Lecture on Players’ Performance Practice in Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1957-58) by John Cage
In collaboration with the RCA Composer’s Forum, Wim Henderickx, and de Werkgroep voor Hedendaagse en Actuele Muziek.

John Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1957-58) is a fascinating modular work. There are no conventional rules or restrictions and in Cage’s typical anarchistic style, suddenly everything one can and will do on stage stands on equal footing and holds just as equal significance. Everything, including: changing mutes, removing the bell, playing flutes, (re)moving (tuning) slides, breathing, rests, silences, and of course conventional playing techniques such as crescendos and decrescendos, articulations, dynamics and note-lengths. All of it was fair game for musical (and performative) interpretation.
During this performance-lecture, Moore will first perform the solo trombone version of the piece titled Solo for Sliding Trombone. We will then delve into the piece specific performance practice viewed from the perspective of each of the three roles: solo pianist, orchestral player and conductor. The lecture concludes with two performances of the full ensemble version of the piece. After the first performance of the Concert a Q&A will be held via Zoom. Please follow this link to join in on the discussion: Zoom link

12-13:00 Performance
This session will be live-streamed over YouTube
YouTube link

Ensemble XXI, Alina Taraban & Thomas R. Moore: Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1957-58) by John Cage

14:15-15:30 Paper and Performance-Paper presentations
This session will occur live online via Zoom
Zoom link

Winnie Huang & Thomas R. Moore: Introduction

Winnie Huang: How to make a Monster (2017) by Sivan Cohen Elias
Dr. Sivan Cohen Elias: How to make ‘How to make a Monster’

In How to Make a Monster, the use of the objects and the performer actions is designed to merge references to puppetry, magic, cooking, and handcraft gestures, while the resulting sounds compliment a narrative that combines humor and suspenseI will speak about different aspects of, and stages in, the creation of the work as an intersection of musical composition and theater, carving possibilities through experimentation and the implications of simultaneous sonic and visual narratives. While developing the original piece through empirical research, the imagery, theatricality, sonic dimension and logistics had to be thought through simultaneously. The video will be accompanied by excerpts from the many recordings I made during that trial-and-error process.
The nonlinear chain of associations – entangled, intertwining, ever-changing events – remains linked to the central topic, which is monsters and their many forms. The objects have fluctuating relationships with the performer, and evoke multiple, ambiguous associations as events unfold and new configurations form. The puppetry-esque performance creates a dynamic power relationship, constantly alternating roles between operated and operator, creator and creation. This approach requires the performer to be wholly engaged, alternating attention through their ears, mind, and body, while developing a complex relationship with the objects, which keep transforming along the course of the piece.
How to Make a Monster

16-18:00 Panel Discussion
This session will occur live online via Zoom
Zoom link

Dr. Jessie Marino, Magda Thielemans & Dr. Håkon Stene: Panel Discussion
Winnie Huang & Thomas R. Moore, moderators

This session will be divided into two sections. The first hour will be an open discussion between the three panelists and two moderators. We will then divide the participants into three breakout rooms, one with each panelist, to delve into greater detail in each of their areas of expertise.

The areas of discussion will encompass, but not be limited to the three main questions cited in the call:

  • How can we, as performers, develop our music-making movement repertoire and gestural skill set to meet the growing practice of movement-centred acts and interventions?
  • What happens when composers begin to incorporate movement repertoire in their pieces, how do they contend with the traditional (and hierarchical) performance situation and how do the gestures of the conductor lead to a new context of perception?
  • What are the methods and processes that composers and artistic directors apply when questioning the role of the musicians’ and conductor’s body on stage?

20-22:00 Evening Performances
This session will occur live online via Zoom
Zoom link

Haize Lizarazu: MANUAL – Hands as Instruments
Music from Somewhere (2017) by Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca
Key Jane (2017) by Michael Beil

Winnie Huang: mono (2021)
Composed & Performed by Winnie Huang

Yui Sakagoshi: Body as an instrument
S’assombrit 5 (2018) by Sergio Núñez Meneses
Motion Experiment III (2019-20) by Yui Sakagoshi
Nenneko Pantsu (2021) by Chatori Shimizu 
Silence must be! (2002) by Thierry De Mey

Ajtony Csaba: Music for the Eyes (2018) by Ajtony Csaba
Conductors: Ajtony Csaba, Winnie Huang, Dr. Daan Janssens, Dr. Håkon Stene, Thomas R. Moore
Performers: all participants are welcome to perform.
[Insert link to instrumental parts]

After talk: online reception
Please stick around after the last performance for an informal chat via Zoom. (BYOB, of course.)

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