Piano Personae: Performance, Subjectivity and Experimentation

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The arts of the last century have pushed us to interrogate notions of the self, exposing the fragmented, fluid, dynamic, embodied and contingent nature of subjectivity. Musical subject-formation through performance is inherently intersubjective: every musician develops a sound, style and performance persona through a process of identification with and differentiation from the playing of others, whether peers, teachers, or idolised performer-heroes. Nevertheless, the discourse of the individual self persists. Developing an ‘authentic’ performing ‘voice,’ predicated on the self, is often regarded as key to musical success, while popular media commentary encourages the idea of performance as self-realisation.

This presentation considers these issues via performance of my version of Annea Lockwood's Ceci n'est pas un piano (originally 2002, for piano, recorded voice and electronics). The research is part of a practice-led project ‘Piano Personae’, examining the relationship between performance, experimentation, embodied knowledge and subjectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2016
EventFourth Performance Studies Network International Conference - Bath Spa University, Bath, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Jul 201617 Jul 2016


ConferenceFourth Performance Studies Network International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Cite this