Friday, 20 February 2009


I just been informed that my proposal to present a lecture-recital at the forthcoming conference on Performance Studies PERFORMA'09, hosted by the Department of Communication and Art of the University of Aveiro (Portugal, 14-16 May 2009) was accepted. I am glad, of course. It will be a great challenge for me. Here is a copy of the submitted abstract.
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Musician or Performer? That is the question.
When some years ago Nicholas Cook (2001)[1] challenged us to think about music as performance he launched a new paradigm to understand musical performance. Indeed, a musical performance is more than the reproduction of scores; it performs meaningful events in a specific social context. This subtle change of emphasis, from the ‘text’ to the ‘event’, not only opened new paths to comprehend what a musical performance is and what the performers’ role is inside of it, but also posited music closer to other performance arts such as live art, body art, contemporary dance and theatre. Acknowledging this, I intend to get inside Performance Studies to understand what a performance is and in which ways music-making can be a performance. By promoting cross-fertilization between a diversity of arts and theories I expect to draw an alternative way to think, make, and engage with music; a way that comes in line with the more contemporary artistic scene and theory. Eventually, this reflection can contribute to integrate music in the current debate inside Performance Studies, which is still very residual. Hence, my presentation starts with a short performance where I explore the body and theatricality to create a musical event. It involves live lighting, improvised (or choreographed) music, as well as excerpts of George Crumb’s A Little Midnight Music. This work, composed in 2001, is rumination on ‘Round Midnight by Thelonious Monk. Then I present the paper.

[1] Cook, N. (2001). Between Process and Product: Music and/as Performance. Music Theory Online, 7(2).

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