Staging the Stages: Research as a Musical Journey
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The experiential nature of artistic research presents itself in the dual frames of its conception and audience perception. The author, a vocal artiste of the Carnatic tradition of South Indian music, here re-imagines through her lens, 17th century Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi’s writings for the voice in his musical dramas. The metaphorical ‘laboratory’ wherein she re-crafted the notated writings in her own idiom is recreated through this presentation. She converses with the audience, sings a notated phrase, sings her ‘re-imagined’ version, expresses the challenges she faces in negotiating the cultural and linguistic barriers and in doing so takes them on a journey that elicits their empathy as well as participation in what turns out to be an orchestrated ‘staging’ of the various stages that the research-practice loop entails. Historically informed aspects of the research unfold naturally at each sign-post that marks a point of ‘realisation’ in the exposition. The differences in the nature of 16th and 17th century vocalisations and the present vocal techniques that are prevalent in canonical Western Art music are enunciated with example phrases from the aria. Research and practice at active interplay are witnessed by the audience who are invited to be more than just spectators; to be interlocutors in the genesis. The audience are questioned, encouraged to question, thereby sharing their considered feedback as the stages develop. The author/creator responds not only to the seminal artistic impulse from within, but also to the external reactions that her creativity elicits from others, in real-time. The stages interlock with one another; the informed product emerges. The objective of this presentation is to illustrate the transient nature of the ‘production’. Albeit being better informed, it will further refine itself. The creator shall take this experiential engagement back to the sound laboratory. This encapsulated battery of creative ideas that flowed from the artiste to the audience and back through the artiste into the music shall manifest itself in a newer version. Such a circuitous route in dissemination is most suitable for artistic researchers; it ensures renewal and re-engineering of ideas.
The European Platform for Artistic Research in Music: Staging Research from the laboratory to the stage and back again
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Musicology and Ethnomusicology