(Per)Forming Art: Performance as a Compositional Technique

Tomorrow I will present a paper in the PGR Symposium at the University of Leeds. My presentation will discuss how performance can be consciously applied to the compositional process.

The acts of composing and performing are central processes to the formation of a musical work. Performance is a medium through which music is formed. It is a significant part of a work’s compositional process and, as such, forms a symbiotic relationship with the act of composing. An iterative cycle between performance and composition comes about when the composer performs their own work and/or composes through performance. Performance in this manner can be seen as a form of practice-based research that can guide the compositional process. This presentation explores the relationship between composition and performance with a particular focus on how the act of performing can be used as a compositional process. It explains such an approach in relation to some recent compositions, and makes reference to the ‘(Per)Forming Art’ Symposium, an annual event which I began organising this year and held for the first time in September at the University of Leeds.

More information about the (Per)Forming Art symposium can be found here.

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