Jeff Arsenault (University of Alberta)
“Spiritual Reconciliation: Autobiographical Metaphor in Hatzis’ In the Name of God“
The fifth movement of Christos Hatzis’s composition footprints in new snow, “In the Name of God,” incorporates interviews, music, and natural sounds recorded in Canada’s north to express the spiritual upheaval and reconciliation experienced by Inuit peoples of Baffin Island as a result of colonization. Hatzis’s personal claim that Inuit culture provides him with “spiritual nourishment” and that the “quoted sounds act as metaphors for something subtler, which lies beyond direct geographical/chronological associations” (Hatzis 1999, n.p) combined with his compositional mandate concerning his religion and personal truths, invites us to make a parallel between Hatzis’s experience of Inuit spirituality and his own spiritual reconciliation with the Greek Orthodox Church. As a result, I suggest in this paper that “In the Name of God” is not only the depiction of Hatzis’s interpretation of Inuit spirituality, but can also be read as an autobiographical metaphor for his own spiritual reconciliation.
Twila Bakker (University of Victoria)
“All Alone or Never Alone: What Role Does the Composer Play in the Final Performance of Solo Flute Repertoire?”
Solo repertoire is not the first genre of music that one thinks of when trying to unravel the complexities of collaboration in music. It is, however, an interesting and unique experience to attempt to explain how collaboration takes place within a piece of solo repertoire. In the corpus of solo flute repertoire written during the final quarter of the twentieth-century two genres emerged as seeming opposites, namely minimalism and new complexity. In each of these genres, the composer plays a radically different role in the final performance of the work. On the minimalist side Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint (1982) provides the performer with quite rigid guidelines for performance; whereas on the new complexity side Brian Ferneyhough’s Unity Capsule (1975-6) provides the performer with, in addition to complex rhythmic structures and microtonal specificities demanded in the work, a multitude of colouration instructions of which the performer is realistically only able to select a few to present fully to their audience. An examination of Vermont Counterpoint and Unity Capsulewill allow for an unraveling of the role that each composer undertakes in a performance of solo repertoire and whether soloist are ever truly alone.
“Embodied Musical Perspectives – A Collaborative Narrative”
Westerners historically understand the world through a sense of self that is deconstructed, separating mind from body, and mind from feelings. In truth, we cannot operate in any wayexcept as embodied beings, incorporating mind, body, and spirit intra-dependently, simultaneously, and harmoniously.
Dewey, Eisner and Miller have argued that learning academic subjects through the arts affords an insightful and developmentally transformative educational experience of that subject. This research inquiry aims to explore transformative learning applied to the field of music education, specifically as music concepts and key outcomes are approached and experienced through applications of expressive movement. Looking through a holistic lens, I contend that by experiencing music (or any other subject) from an artistically embodied approach, students acquire a uniquely insightful understanding of their subject matter.
Using embodied ways of knowing and holistic education as the theoretical background for this study, I bring experienced Dalcroze Eurhythmics teachers together to consider and discuss artistic and transformational experiences specific to their applications of embodied music pedagogy. The ensuing discussion informs the data and determines the direction for this collaborative narrative inquiry. Together, collaboratively, we explore and develop the beliefs which inform our understanding of embodied ways of knowing and of holistic education. This inquiry will inform the ways that we understand ourselves and the world as embodied thinkers, the embodied ways that musicians understand music, and the transformational outcomes that are experienced through embodied pedagogy, especially in music education.
Sandra Joy Friesen (University of Alberta)
“Blending the Lines of Creative Process”
“Entends, entends le passé qui marche…”
Composed in 1992 by Canadian composer Hope Lee, this 10-minute work for audiotape and piano is a musical perspective on the idea of time. On philosophical and psychological levels, the abstract time zones of present, past, and future co-exist, and interact continually in daily life. Lee explains that her aim in this composition was to express these zones of present, past, and future through the interplay of differing notations and gestures. The realized audiotape (based on recorded material of sounds from the piano interior and of vocal chant) is a fixed sound medium that symbolizes a static time frame that is brought into existence during performance. The integration of audiotape and acoustic performance thus also represents, in real time, the co-existence of time zones. Further, in the performance situation, the soloist engages aurally with this fixed sound medium in a kind of one-sided (inter)action that is altered in each performance by concert hall size, acoustics, and type of piano. This conference performance is also an interdisciplinary event––a conjunction of music and artistic response. Studio artist Werner Friesen interprets the aural spectrum of music and sound through a visual spectrum of color, gesture and form, and in the spontaneous painting environment, the listener is invited to become the viewer as well. The combined auditory and visual experience opens up the dialogue between musician, artist and audience, pertaining to the process and meaning of interdisciplinary collaboration, and to the reception of this process.
Ozgecan Karadagli (University of Alberta)
“Tradition and Modernism in Ahmet Adnan Saygun’s Aksak Sketches”
Ahmet Adnan Saygun is a prominent representative of the Turkish modernist movement whose work has had a far-reaching aesthetic and ideological influence on the contemporary music of Turkey. Known for his extensive ethnomusicological collaborations with Bartok, Saygun’s work took shape in the cross-currents between European modernist idioms and indigenous Turkish and folk musics. His Ten Sketches on “Aksak” Rhythms Op, 58, written for solo piano, bring together the melodies and asymmetrical rhythms of traditional dance forms with the formal abstraction and harmonic language of a modernist style. This paper will explore the rhythms, melodies, and formal conception of the dance-form of the Horonand its transformation and reinterpretation as a textural mosaic in Saygun’s first “Aksak”sketch. Retracing the traditional roots in Saygun’s compositional approach will shed light on the terms of an aesthetic meeting-ground between Western and Turkish idioms.
Laura Kerslake (University of Alberta)
“Smoke and Mirrors (Symbia II)”
Abstract to come.
Daniel Rosen (University of Western Ontario)
“Stereo Microphone Techniques as Musical Practice”
This paper is part of a broader ongoing effort to elucidate microphone placement and technique as musical communication per se. In it, I explore conventional “stereo” microphone technique for recording classical solo piano in a particularly reverberant environment. I draw on two case studies to do this, specifically, a personally made recording of Debussy’s “Claire De Lune” and a recording of the third movement from Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” By comparing these recordings, I explain how conventional stereo microphone techniques for recording classical piano – i.e., Blumlein, spaced omnidirectional pair, M/S technique, etc. – produce straightforwardly musical consequences. I conclude with a brief consideration of the challenge my argument that microphone choice and placement can be understood as musical communication per se, rather than a technical support for musical communication, presents to traditional academic modes of music analysis.
Janet Spring (University of Toronto)
“Perspectives of the Rural Music Educator: A Collaborative Narrative Journey Investigating Music Education through ‘Sense of Place.’”
Discrepancies exist in current definitions of rural, rurality and rural education. What is the meaning of rural, and how do music educators define their teaching praxes? Collaborative narrative inquiry will explore how music teachers negotiate their role identities in a rural setting through the conceptual framework of ‘sense of place’, and how these influence music education practices. The place and space where music educators teach their students is significant for it is not a stable, bordered, static place, but an evolving and emerging setting, influenced by local real life circumstances. Thus, I argue that to possess a personal ‘sense of place’, teachers not only maintain an attachment to a particular geographical area, but also experience a place-based relationship with the local community, school staff and students, interacting on a social, cultural and political level.
In my doctoral research, I am investigating the lived experiences of four rural music educators from a place-based pedagogical lens. I am gathering stories of classroom experiences, community involvement, and narratives about living and teaching in a rural area through journals, interviews and focus group sessions. This inquiry will provide personal, practical and scholarly knowledge that will deconstruct and add to the current limited, academic literature on rural music education, to inform beginning and experienced rural music educators and policy makers.
Caitlyn Triebel (University of Alberta)
“Combustion to Rebirth: Arts, Dance, and Music in Montreal from Refus global to L’Oiseau-phénix, 1948-1956″
Montreal during the 1950s was a crucible of creative activity. This was largely due to Paul-Émile Borduas’ manifesto Refus global (1948), a reaction against the conservative post-war environment in Quebec that drew attention to the need for international aesthetics and philosophical dialogue independent from the predominant values of Church and State. Following Borduas, artists in Quebec found support in new opportunities available through federal government-sponsored initiatives such as the Société Radio-Canada and in programs recommended by the Massey Commission.
In this environment, Ludmilla Chiriaeff, founder of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, created ballets involving French-Canadian librettists and co-collaborators in expressions of modernist European aesthetics. Working with Chiriaeff, and following studies in Paris, Clermont Pépin composed the music for L’Oiseau-phénix (1956), a ballet that aligns the sentiments of “melancholy” or “traditional” nationalism (Maclure 2003 and Handler 1988) with European modernism and therefore represents an important example of French-Canadian nationalist discourse during an exciting rebirth of passion and creativity.