A New-Music Concert Series

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Bristol’s professional chamber orchestra, and the University Music Department, are engaged in a collaborative project through the 2009-2010 season. The focus is on premières of music by myself and by PhD composers, as contributions to a recently-founded public concert series. In parallel, we seek to examine two distinct aspects of the performances. The first involves sound, video, and gesture-capture recordings in rehearsal and concert, as groundwork for a follow-on project on the combination of human and electronic “players”. The second is to document the performances as cultural events, situating them in a local socio-historical context. The project presents methodological challenges. As of November 2009, in the early stages, the balance of heuristic and more systematic approaches is for ongoing negotiation. Tensions are likely: between gathering information that will help build public success, and seeking knowledge that is less end-orientated but more closely argued; between the reflexivity natural to composers’ participant-observation, and the desire to locate objective evidence; between the performers’ desire to provide and the audience’s to have a good time, and the risk of observation distorting the thing observed. This paper will describe the methodologies in hand and provisional results for the project thus far (to March 2010), and will invite suggestions and dialogue to inform our continuation.
Translated title of the contributionA New-Music Concert Series
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEMPRE Intermational Conference, Empirical Musicology II: Empirical Approaches to Performance, Leeds
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Conference Organiser: Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research


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