Śabdagatitāra: Rhizomatic Structures in Transtraditional Networks of Music.
Since 2013, the author has worked as an artistic coordinator and musical idea concentrator (metteur-en-musique) with various ad-hoc ensembles initiated in response to the aesthetically and stylistically globalised population of musicians in large cities: In their composition and working process, these ensembles embody some of the musical traditions (and their social structures) found in, for example, Berlin, Montréal, Pune, Istanbul, Zurich, Oslo and Toronto. Fragile and ephemeral as such projects are, a rhizome of musical as well as methodological connections has emerged over time between their different models of music-making, their resonant spaces and actors, allowing for surprisingly robust insights and working methods for a critical trans-traditional practice. Inspired by aspects of actor-network theory (Latour/Callon), the author has developed the musicological concept of Śabdagatitāra (sanskr.: the crossing of different sound methods) for such practices and will present it, as well as the concrete working methods in his lecture - and will then proceed to try some of these methods with the ad-hoc ensemble present at this event.
with Sandeep Bhagwati
Traditional music of Burgenland Croats: contemporary approaches
For nearly 500 years the so called Burgenland Croats live in the border region of Austria´s federal state Burgenland and the western parts of Slovakia and Hungary. After numerous migration processes during the 16th and 17th century, this Croatian speaking ethnic group settled in formerly western parts of Hungary. With the dissolution of the Habsburg monarchy and the following bordering processes in 1921 the Croatian speaking population in this region became divided by state borders and were recognized by the state as an autochtonous minority, living among different ethnicities and political systems. The current cultural practices among Burgenland Croats, in particular their music, seem to be crucial for the survival of this ethnic group, which experienced constant assimilation during the last decades and centuries. In particular the so called traditional music and the different contemporary approaches of its performers seem to have a substantial importance for the members of this "cultural island", referring to the process of finding and gaining "identity" or feelings of "belonging to the community", respectively. Additionally, it seems to serve as an inner motor for the preservation of the mother tongue. In his workshop, Philipp Tyran is going to show different contemporary musical expressions of this cross-border ethnic group, which sway between intentional maintaining of tradition, folkloristic revival and tradition-based modernity. The participants are going to become acquainted with different contemporary interpretations of Croatian folk music from Burgenland, as well as with contemporary compositions which are obviously inspired by the traditional music of this ethnic group. Further, the participants will discuss the extent to which Burgenland Croatian performers develop multiple cultural or musical identities and how contemporary music expression generates a feeling of belonging to a community, especially in relation to cultural boundaries vis-à-vis other ethnic and linguistic communities. Not only should the participants of this theoretical-practical workshop discuss certain aspects of contemporary music expressions of the Burgenland Croats, but also perform it practically by singing and dancing.
with Philipp Tyran
The Oral Tradition of Dengbêjî
Dengbêjî, the job of a dengbêj, a storyteller - lit. A 'Soundteller' - is the tradition of oral expression, which, as the only path to survival of a language facing extinction under oppression, formed the foundation of traditional Kurdish music. Many melodies sung in this tradition belonged originally to women. For Kurds, deprived of any written sources, this poetic artful style of lyrics and rhythm by the dengbêj was a unique method of preserving their language and culture to this day. Although it was mostly women who, for instance, lamented the loss of their sons and husbands in endless wars; expressed their love, joy, longing and suffering through such songs, it was always men who carried these works over to the dengbêj Divan (assembly). Due to religious and traditional restrictions and judgments, women could only raise their voice behind closed doors, silently. Kurdish women fought countless battles to exist in many fields inc. music, successfully getting their voices out from behind those closed doors and deaf walls.
Mahan Mirarab will introduce the system of melodic modes Maqam and microtonality in Kurdish Music.
Liszt Hall (online session)
Listening to the other(s)
Félix Blume has a background as a sound engineer and slowly started working on his own personal projects. More than sound listening became the central point of his work. Listening as a way to relate to others an excuse to meet or a way of learning from other(s) and their cultures.Through the collaborative process of different sonic projects (sound pieces, sound installation and films) Félix Blume will explain his relation to listening as a possibility of transculturality.
with Félix Blume
How is it possible to use the categories of belonging, culture and origin in one's own artistic work as a creative source? What does it mean for one's own work to break through the prefabricated classifications and attitudes? The goal is to stimulate critical thinking and also to face the uncomfortable questions about one's own automatisms. The participants will explore the mechanisms of interconnectedness, intermingling and commonality in our modern, highly differentiated society, examining their influence through art on our understanding of the world. During the workshop we will follow at the intersection of a diverse range of artistic disciplines the questions of ones own artistic origin, belonging, heritage, borders and changes in today's society. We will also consider the notions of identity politics, issues of representation, dealing with historical realities, cultural appropriation, inequality, and privilege. Possibilities will be tested to artistically evade a classification from the outside and thereby open up a new space for one's own artistic creation. In the context of the workshop we will discuss, create and experiment. What moments and parts of our own work define us in our own eyes, and which define us in the eyes of others, of the society, the artistic world and for how long? In this process, artistic contributions of different formats will be created, which will be part of the joint concluding round of reflections.
with Nina Kusturica
This presentation will explore a transcultural and transdisciplinary artistic creation process researched in a dialogue between ethnomusicology and artistic research. Throughout it, epistemological, creative and methodological aspects of artistic research will be addressed. These will include the empowering of the creator, the uses of the audio-visual, ethnography and the collaborative, among others. The project presented here included ethnomusicological fieldwork in relation to the aesthetic dimension of sound inside Japanese music, the creation of a performative piece including dance, live audio-visual and music and an audio-visual documentary presenting the creative process from a dialogue between ethnomusicology and artistic research.
with Horacio Curti
We live in times in which we are starting to question things which we have learned and viewed as ‘normal’ until now. The performing arts and the institutions which have been created for this purpose are in a phase of reconstruction in order to adapt themselves to the demands of contemporary society. Is this process really taking place, and which questions need to be answered during this period of reorientation? How can we deal with our uncertainties in order to unlearn things which we have learned? Questions are there to be answered, aren’t they?
with Aslı Kışlal
Haydn Hall: Presentation – Discussion – Reception
RAPP Lab: Methodological Perspectives of Artistic Research – between Transculturality and Embodied Reflection
Embodied reflection (RAPP Lab 3)
I perform, I move, I reflect - the potential of this doing is interwoven with (often inaudible) words, with tangible sounds, imaginations and bodily gestures. This lab focuses on the implicit dimensions of sensory-emotional and social knowledge of and in artistic practice, research and education. In auditions, in workshops, in interdisciplinary and dialogical sessions, in discussions.
Transculturality in artistic research (RAPP Lab 4)
In a globalised (art) world, we consider the Western musical tradition as one among many traditions. This stance acknowledges existing hegemonic power relations, but aims to foster participants' ability to reflect on their own artistic practice and art research methods and to experience them in different social, cultural and artistic contexts. This requires an awareness of the diverse power-structural conditions of artistic practices. In a postcolonial context, the development of diverse reflexive approaches supports students in finding, developing, articulating and communicating their own point of view. This also contributes to the ability to find / develop / present their own artistic and professional niche.
In this event we will present the work of teachers and students from both labs and discuss the findings and perspectives. In a panel discussion, the steering commitee of the RAPP Lab will discuss the methodological framework, different strategies and even subversive approaches of reflection in artistic processes and in artistic research that challenge our understanding of music, art, knowledge and social relevance. The audience is welcome to discuss with the participants both formally during the panel and informally during the reception.
The Production of Knowledge
The lecture will take a closer look at the production of knowledge? How is knowledge produced? What counts as knowledge? What is considered good and useful knowledge? And what is declared rejects? Based on considerations within postcolonial theory, the production and circulation of knowledge will be analyzed – with special focus on the processes of mixing and hybridization. For that matter, we will bring to the fore the structure of clients and consumers when talking about knowledge production. Furthermore, the fragility of knowledge and the specific exploitative relations that structure the production of knowledge are examined and the body as producer and archivist of knowledge will be deciphered.
Presentation of artistic dissertation projects at the mdw within the framework of RAPP Lab
As the final public event of the Artistic Research Lab in the artistic doctoral program as well as of RAPP Lab 4 on the topic of "Transculturality in Artistic Research", ten mdw students will present audiovisual contributions from their current artistic research projects. The spectrum ranges from new transcultural forms of composition and interpretation to experimental approaches to creation and choreography to historically informed performance practice as well as innovative turntablism.
The events will be streamed live at mdwMediathek
From barter trades to collaborative village plays: Collaboration as conceptual, cross-cultural practice
The workshop explores collaboration as a conceptual, cross-cultural practice and draws on my experience of collaborating with artists and people from different walks of life—who live and work in rural areas across Europe—on artistic projects that involve collective creation and an intensive dialogue across cultural, social and political difference. I will introduce selected projects that I have worked on recently, which all propose different approaches to collaboration, ranging from barter trades with farmers, through the re-writing of traditional songs with folk singing choirs, to the creation of collaborative ‘village plays’ with local inhabitants.
I see collaboration, first and foremost, as a dialogue across difference, across diverse practices and experiences of everyday life, that we as artists, curators and cultural workers strive to relate to and understand, which requires an active politics of ‘tending to’ and listening.
How do we work with the different cultural practices—understood in the broadest sense, from autocross racing to watermelon farming—that we encounter through our collaborators? How do these inspire, inform and transform the artistic research and the collaborative process?
What are the pitfalls and challenges of such collaborations? How can they be generative for, and conducive to unexpected forms of artistic experimentation?
What does it mean to embrace the uncertainty of creating something together that we cannot yet imagine?
with Katalin Erdődi