Composers, Performers, and Consent | NewMusicBox
In conclusion, the performer's view of the performer-composer relationship is fundamental .. with the help ofthe score, through the performance, to the listener . So why not “5 Ways Composers Can Avoid Limiting Performers' Agency”? were “in the business of helping composers accomplish their visions. .. for the composer/performer relationship, because this relationship involves. Dependent on dialogue, the composer - performer relationship is . Students had no base of knowledge to support the development of this kind of relationship.
During one rehearsal she jokingly started singing my music in a traditional operatic fashion—loud and resonant and with a rich vibrato—and it sounded absurd.Kaija Saariaho and Anssi Karttunen Workshop
The Stravinskian model has its fans, too. Bethany Younge in performance The missing piece of the puzzle, I think, is consent. When I brought the language of consent into the conversation, it turned out that everyone agreed with me, and many of them had already been thinking in those terms. And Amanda explained that she has no objection to those who actually want to sing in a quiet, informal style or perform failure on stage. If we want our collaborations to be satisfying for everyone involved, we need to come up with ways of working together that explicitly address two related questions: Kevin, who I first met when he was playing cello in a group called Ensemble de Sade, told me that he frames the issue using the conceptual categories of BDSM—the composer as dominant and the performer as submissive.
So what does this look like in practice? How would he describe their sound in general? What fuels their desire to work with living composers? Do they feel a strong sense of L. By the end of the conversation I had an idea of what I was going to write: It fit with everything Chris had told me about the group: Later I decided to have the players sing in the final section, and I had questions for Chris about that too.
Who has a good falsetto? Who would be up for yelling? Why or when this happens I cannot say.
Arts Law Centre of Australia
Impressing by shocking is difficult in the long run, because it only works once. The same happens in trying to make the biggest effect; tomorrow somebody will be even bigger and your effort will have acquired new meaning. As a performer I must try to imagine how the music sounded in the composers ears, or to the audiences that heard it for the first time.
I must then find a way of shocking with music that may have become acceptable. I do not do this by adding some effect that I think should shock today; I must do it mentally. If I can feel the pain myself, others should feel it, too. On freedom and its restrictions Being totally free is the most difficult state for us.
We must first define what we mean by freedom. In the history of music, it was often during the times with most restrictions and rules that the most interesting music was written. The fact that composers had to write according to certain rules did not necessarily limit them.
On the contrary, they had to find more ways of getting round the rules. Somehow, the imagination works well in these circumstances. It is easier to try to avoid something, to find how to be cleverer than others in getting round a certain restriction than it is to have no rules and be completely free. Being a composer today must be very demanding because you have to define everything yourself: Each instrumentalist is a physical being who makes music with an object that has certain physical limitations.
If we add to this the rules set by the composer in his work, the boundaries within which we must make music may seem quite restricting. But it is these limitations that give us our freedom. When I jump to a note very far away on the finger-board and actually have no time to get there, I have to fool myself and forget the physical impossibility.
Often we have to be magicians and let the listeners brain fill in the parts that are not really there. We create an illusion of a work that does not necessarily exist. The role of the performer What is the role of the performer in this triangle of audience, performer and composer? The old question is: We, the interpreters, are at the service of the composer, but we are also at the service of the public, and of an abstract idea of music.
We can only be at the service of the composer if we take an active part in this triangle. We should understand somebody else's mind more than is really possible. First we must enter the mind of the composer, then that of our fellow musicians, and finally penetrate that of the individuals that form the audience.
I believe that in order to interpret music with the greatest freedom, we have to be as faithful as possible to the composer. In doing so we create for ourselves a certain structure within which we can operate at liberty. From this starting point our decisions sound like free choice, like inspiration and improvisation instead of the carrying out of instructions.
I disagree with musicians who say that we just need to let our imagination flow freely and forget the composer's instructions. They believe that by regarding the composer's instructions too highly, we limit our expression and hide our own personality. It is true that there will always be some geniuses who can perform any piece in their own personal style and be convincing, but that does not mean that we should all behave like that.
At the very least we should give the composer a chance to convince us, and maybe we will then be able to convince the listener.
My personality will always be present in any performance I give. I cannot separate it from anything I do. If, for example, I play a simple long note according to strict instructions, pianissimo, no vibrato, it will still always be my interpretation of that note.
Within the context of the work as a whole, the ultimate authority will nevertheless be the composer. Performers often fall into the trap of trying to sound interesting. In order to impress, they try to add something to the music to make sure that it is interesting. For generations, players have been afraid of boring audiences with masterpieces, adding little personal touches to such an extent that after a couple of generations it is difficult to recognise the original composition.
Actually, the piece becomes boring because it belongs to no one any longer, and certainly not to the composer. Understanding the process of interpretation is complicated and will always remain somehow metaphysical.
We are alchemists of a kind: The more we remove the mysteries about music, the closer we can get to pinpointing those things that should always remain a mystery. The relation with the audience All our senses are intensely stimulated in so many different ways today: Paradoxically, this creates an enormous threat of boredom.
The main concern of people in their free time is to be entertained, to not be bored. They feel that if they go to a concert, they must be entertained and stimulated all the time.
They compare the stimulation they receive at a concert with other kinds of stimulation in everyday life which have nothing to do with music.
The relationship between Composer and Performer Paper
I am playing to people who most of the time are used to having all sorts of mega-stimulation without even paying attention to it. Even opera houses are installing earthquake simulators to impress people more. So when I am playing a new piece for solo cello, I am competing with Jurassic Park, with three tenors singing topeople in a park, with the World Cup.
How do we compete with that? It should not be a problem, but the knowledge of what goes on around us can sometimes be difficult to ignore. For me just as much as for the audience.
Arts Law : Article : From page to performance: a composer’s relationship with performers
It often leads us to strive for effect even in the most intimate piece. However, as a performer I do have the privilege of allowing the audience to forget that life exists outside this piece of music. I only have to seize the moment. Where has music taken the cello?
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- Composers, Performers, and Consent
It is interesting to see how cello techniques have developed this century. Many parallel paths have been followed: Ysaye, Enescu, Ustvolskaya, Dallapiccola, Zimmermann, Dutilleux and Saariaho are just some of the important composers who have contributed to the development of the cello. Just as they all had to invent their musical idiom, they also had to invent the instrumental idiom that goes with it.
I am sure they all carefully studied what had been done with the cello before, but it is very difficult to point out parallels between them. This century has been a time of diversification and multiplication as much in the musical as in the technical sense.
While the 20th century has produced more styles of playing and composing than any previous era, there is a tendency to give everything a label. Nothing is more frustrating than explaining what contemporary, avant-garde, modern, post-modern, spectral, west-coast, up-town etc.