This conference explores musician’s long relationship with their instruments and instrumentalities, questioning issues of autonomy and agency in the apparent dichotomy between tools and musical expression. From the mechane of Greek theatres from which gods were suspended, to Mozart’s description of the Stein fortepiano’s knee-lever as “Die Maschine”, to the epoch-defining technologies of recording, sound synthesis, and algorithmic composition of more recent times, performers and composers have relied on mechanical means to create magic in their art.
The Orpheus Institute docARTES programme invites artists, composers, performers and all artistic researchers to participate in its 2019 doctoral conference, where we will engage in reflections on the tangible interdependences between music-makers and their tools. We invite participants from a wide range of disciplines – those that concern new and old instruments, as well as those in the field of musical automaton and their expressive use – in order to bring together multiple perspectives, and cover an extended range of artistic experiences: from historically informed performance to contemporary and electroacoustic music creation.
The one-day conference opens with a concert, which welcomes both artistic presentations and scholarly papers, giving special attention to practice-based research.