Sounded gesture and enacted sounds (preliminary report)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Musicians make physical gestures in playing their instruments; so much is obvious. Some gestures are practical, resulting in sounds: a hand depressing a key, a beater striking a gong.Others are communicative (a cue given to colleagues); some are theatrical (the head thrown back in excitement). The study of these behaviours is of much interest to researchers interested in the embodiment of musicianship, in practice-based and practice-enhancing research. Taxonomies of gesture are being developed and applied; particularly useful is the preliminary work done by Godøy and Leman in 'Musical Gestures: Sound, Movement and Meaning' (Routledge 2009). ‘Sounded gestures and enacted sounds’ will apply and extend their work, investigating the relationships between physical and sonic gesture in the music of a piano-percussion duo and applying the results in performative and compositional contexts. In particular, the research will be informed by a series of composed etudes which take physical (rather than sonic) gesture as the starting, but with an understanding of the specific correlations and divergences between gestural and sound content. The intent is to examine composition as choreography, but a choreography in which the intimate relation between the physical and the sonic is embedded.

This presentation is very much a preliminary report on the research project described
above. The first three phases of work have entailed: (1) preliminary readings into and
conversations about the conceptual framework; (2) two days of intensive work at the
Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustic (IEM) at the University of Graz, Austria; (3) the creation of the first of a projected series of etudes, which receives its first performance at this seminar.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - May 2011
EventYork-Orpheus Seminar: Embodiment - Experiment - , United Kingdom
Duration: 10 May 2011 → …


ConferenceYork-Orpheus Seminar: Embodiment - Experiment
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period10/05/11 → …

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