Fitting of the music to the action: Wilhelm Bruck and the instrumental theatre 49:24
Considering scholarly methods of investigation about contemporary music, there are some areas of this repertoire that remain unclear, especially because the score does not provide a perfect mirror of the final performance. This is the case in Mauricio Kagel’s instrumental theatre. Though the composer is well known for his extreme mastery of details and his mixing of theatre, action, music and non-musical sounds is explored in his writings, any prospective performer is still confronted with many questions on being confronted by the score: how do I play these specific techniques? Why did he write such a difficult movement to execute?
What particular gesture is intended here?
Research has to challenge these questions by using ethnographic inquiries about previous performances. But gaining any insight into the intended use of gesture can cannot be done without contact with those who performed and created these pieces. This presentation will present some recordings made during a journey in Cologne, where I met Wilhelm Bruck, who performed many of Kagel’s early pieces. During this interview, we discussed his work on numerous scores including Zwei-Mann Orchester, Sonant and Staatstheater. From these
discussions, I present some preliminary approaches of the question of gesture and performance in Kagel’s music.
Inventions du geste musical / Inventing Gestures
In recent years, musicological study of gesture has become an important emerging field of inquiry. Video and motion capture technologies, modes of analysis borrowed from other arts (such as the Laban method for movement analysis in dance) as well as new systems and notations for describing the movement of performers, have allowed a wide variety of approaches to study the structure and expressive potential of gesture. In parallel, the study of composer-performer collaboration has become a leading research field, with musicologists, performers and composers all contributing multiple perspectives with the aid of modern ethnographic techniques. What can our study of collaborative processes reveal about the creation of new approaches to gesture?
Featuring artists and researchers examining the performance of canonical works as well as examining the creation of new works today, this symposium explores whether the precise mode and location of the genesis of new gestural approaches can be identified. The use of technology to both augment the composition and allow the performer new methods of control, the integration of elements of theatre and dance and the exploration of new extended techniques will all be particular foci for the presentations. By examining collaborative approaches to gestural innovation, a deeper understanding of both fields can be uncovered, opening new avenues of artistic and musicological research.