January – March 2021
Curated by Pia Palme & Christina Fischer-Lessiak
Presenter: Pia Palme
This lecture series has now ended. Pia Palme and Irene Lehmann, as editors, are in the process of publishing a book based on the series, bringing together the contributions.
For an exchange across disciplines and cultures, the lecture series brought together composers, performers, musicians, scientists and researchers in order to explore terrains of music theatre. We looked into the fragility and interdependency of sounds, into membranes and surfaces, filters and transitions. We looked into movement, space, and the body in connection with performance and electronic music, as well as into society and environment, identity and gender in the context of composing. We understand music theatre in the widest sense of the term: music theatre is sound moving in/ through/with space and time. Music theatre is a collaborative process that necessitates co-operation and collaboration.
All lectures and events were only held online. Participation was free of charge and accessible worldwide.
For several reasons, we have decided not to publish the lectures online after streaming.
The lecture series was initiated by Pia Palme and Christina Lessiak with a Call for Papers. This is the collection of themes which was part of the CfP.
Collection of possible themes for research and artistic explorations
We study how the practice of composing, listening or spatializing sound relates to these topics:
# fragility, vulnerability, precariousness
# membranes, skin, surfaces
# filtering, transition
# physicality, body, identity, gender, feminism
We want to explore sounds as fragile phenomena. The idea of fragility or vulnerability in connection with sound and music reminds us of their biological and human dimension. A concept of sound as vulnerable or fragile connects to living beings, to perception, to embodiment. The concept of fragility shifts the focus away from the digital, towards the domain of humanity and living beings. Living beings are vulnerable, because they live and die. Fragility not only connects to pain, but also to emotion, communication, and exchange. Human beings can communicate with each other because of their fragility.
Fragility as a musical concept connecting to:
The human body, the skin, perception, to the performers, on stage, to the audience, who is listening.
Fragility connecting to:
Sounds as transitory phenomena in listening. Sound perception is influenced by the space, by one’s position, body, clothing, by the materials present, by other people present. In this sense, sounds depend on the context. Sounds are not absolute phenomena, they are linked to specific contexts: they are fragile and unstable phenomena. They interfere with each other, they can be reflected, masked, damped by the environment, even extinguished.
Fragility connecting to:
The body and gender, reflections on gender roles and society – because gender and sex connect to exchange between humans. Love and sex connect to vulnerability: love makes us vulnerable. Love is the antidote to patriarchy.
Note: Fragility does not necessarily mean that sounds or music must be very soft or fragile. Emotions and human communication can be loud and strong, noisy. In pain, we cry or shout, human cries can be very intense.
The concept of membrane is helpful for an understanding of fragility. Membranes are facilitators of exchange, they are a symbol of how fragility and love come together. A membrane can be a space for love, a space where people can meet. A fragile space for exchange and love, such as the human skin.
Past lectures and events
Join us on an inspiring journey into contemporary music, theatre, listening, and culture: explore new ideas, discuss, and critically comment the various results and insights.
Thursday 18 March – 5 PM [CET/UTC+1] – Lecture #9 / Final Session
With. The significance of a preposition in my artistic practice. [abstract]
Tuesday 16 March – 5 PM [CET/UTC+1] – Lecture #3 (re-scheduled)
Sound as Score [abstract]
Hannah Arendt and ‘The Fragility of Sound’ – Aesthetics and Politics in the 21st Century [abstract]
Thursday 11 March – 5 PM [CET/UTC+1] – Lecture #8
Tremor – Video performance and artist talk [bio]
Composing ‘Narrative Dissolution’: Framing Subjectivity in Music Composition [bio]
Thursday 4 March – 5 PM [CET/UTC+1] – Lecture #7
Emerging in the Process: Alternative Musical Thinking Recalling Archaic (Female) Existence [abstract]
Precarious Resistance: On Women Singing Transgression in Ritual Contexts [abstract]
Friday 26 February – 8 PM [CET/UTC+1] – Concert Night
Streaming concert @echoraeume
New works by Elaine Mitchener, Elisabeth Schimana & Electric Indigo
+ Meet the Artists live on zoom afterwards
More information here >>>
Thursday 25 February – 5 PM [CET/UTC+1] – Lecture #6
Fragile sounds, robust text and the mediating potential of mutually-attentive listening [abstract]
The silent draw: exploration of the void through embodied listening and drawing – an exercise lecture [abstract]
Thursday 18 February – 5 PM [CET/UTC+1] – Lecture #5
Composition and Musicology as Artistic Research: The Case of Ruth Crawford and Charles Seeger [abstract]
How Feminism Matters: An exploration of listening [abstract]
Saturday 13 February – 7 PM [CET/UTC+1]
the dernière screening of
WECHSELWIRKUNG – an experimental music theatre
and artist talk afterwards at 8 PM
with Paola Bianchi, Juliet Fraser, Pia Palme,
Irene Lehmann and Christina Lessiak
Thursday 11 February – 5 PM [CET/UTC+1] – Lecture #4
Regarding Listening – On the theatricality of experimental listening situations [abstract]
Electric Indigo aka Susanne Kirchmayr
From Idea to Realisation – Susanne Kirchmayr speaks about her artistic process [abstract]
and at 7:30 PM [CET/UTC+1]
BRITTLE (Electric Indigo 2021)
online world premiere, commissioned by the research project On the fragility of sounds
Thursday 28 January – 5 PM [CET/UTC+1] – Lecture #2
Listening after Whitehead: Nonhuman Sound, Fragility, and Care [abstract]
In the thick of it: further reflections on the mess and the magic of collaborative partnerships [abstract]
Thursday 21 January – 5 PM [CET/UTC+1] – Lecture #1
Germán Toro Pérez
Instability and Contingency.
Some thoughts about the performance of live electronic music [abstract]
ELP – An artistic research project [abstract]