Forum Artistic Research

Oral Presentation

Bodies in Resonating Action: Strategies of Initiating Collaborative Creative Work

Faidra Chafta Douka

on  Sat, 12:00in  Neuer Saalfor  30min

Music-making often times based on a system of objectified sound representations delivered into a fixed, precise and descriptive notation, renders the score independent of the composer, while at the same time creating a gap of communication between composer and performer. The research project “Bodies in resonating action” re-examines two fundamental relations of music-making, namely the dynamics between composer and performer, and the relationship of the performer with their own body during performing by extending its materiality towards the body of their instrument. In this context the sense of togetherness is being reinforced throughout the whole creative process of making music. By initiating constant experimentation through improvisation with the performer’s body as a focal point of observation, both composer and instrumentalist—even though from a different perspective—develop a mutual dialogue and tune into physical and mental processes as they manifest during practice. Listening carefully to the performing body, how it behaves and reacts to specific tasks, how it breathes, moves, thinks, feels, while doing so in the unique way of a specific individual, creates a deeper understanding of what musicking actually involves, and in this way gives the composer important insights. The obtained knowledge through that process is individualised depending on the specific research partner, it can however be applied, or even enriched, when put into practice with other musicians. Two strategies are followed in order to achieve that; firstly, devising a methodical process of working with a musician so as to observe and research their own uniqueness, and developing tools that facilitate the (re-)initiation of the creative process. As a composer, that leads this process, one also has to develop strong reflexes to observe and react to whatever may spontaneously occur. Secondly, constructing notations that encapsulate concepts or even processes of research, and can reflect thought, while having the flexibility to expand and include further knowledge gained. The result of this kind of work is a musical idea which is constantly in flux, is being re-shaped, deconstructed and re-constructed. The idea is also being performed on each different stage, incorporating more knowledge along the way, however not striving for a final absolute artwork, but rather attempting to capture and perform the process.

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