On 8 June, GEMME will be presenting a symposium at IRCAM, Inventing Gesture as part of ManiFeste Festival. The focus will be on new approaches to gesture in contemporary music, and what we can learn about these by studying the collaboration process between composers and performers. In the creative development of works, gestural innovation is formulated, negotiated and refined, but it is only by documenting this creative process that we can understand the genesis of new approaches to gesture. The use of technology to both augment the composition and allow the performer new methods of control, the integration of elements of theatre and dance and the exploration of new extended techniques will all be particular foci for the presentations.
The invited speakers include senior members of the GEMME research team from IRCAM and the University of Nice as well as leading researchers and artists from France, the UK, Australia and Sweden.
Composer, David Gorton (Royal Academy of Music, London) and Guitarist, Stefan Östersjö (Mälmo Academy of Music) will discuss their collaboration on Forlorn Hope for 11-string guitar, and their experimentation with extended techniques. The will also discuss their collaboration on the multimedia work Go to Hell, which uses movement data from Rolf Riehm’s Toccata Orpheus for guitar to create the musical material. The presentation will feature a performance of Gorton’s Forlorn Hope.
Jean-François Trubert (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis) will discuss Wilhelm Bruck’s collaborations with Maricio Kagel, exploring his insights into the composer’s integration of music and theatre in works such as Sonant and Zwei-Mann Orchester using extended interviews as well as sketches, film and photographic documentation.
Neil Heyde (Royal Academy of Music, London) will discuss quartets by Ligeti and Stravinsky that feature choreography of a string quartet, before moving on to discuss the approaches of several contemporary cellists to the demands of choreographing their performances. The presentation will feature a performance of David Gorton’s Capriccio.
ManiFeste-featured composer Jesper Nordin (Sweden) will discuss his collaboration with conductor, Marc Desmons (France) on a new concerto for conductor, Sculpting the Air, to be performed with Ensemble TM+. The work harnesses the gestures of the conductor, using hanging percussion as we all live electronics. Nordic will also discuss his development of several gesture-controlled electronic instruments
Lauren Redhead (Christ Church Canterbury University) will use the semiotic methods of Nicholas Bourriaud to analyse several graphic notation and text-based works for organ that she performs, discussing how gesture functions as a key link between notation, performance and sound.
Zubin Kanga (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis) will discuss three recent works for piano and live electronics that use technology to find new approaches to gesture on and around the piano. Works by Stefan Prins, Ben Carey and Patrick Nunn will feature, with video documentation used to explore his collaborations with each of the composers. The presentation will feature a performance of Patrick Nunn’s Morphosis.
Finally, Nicolas Donin (IRCAM) and Michelle Magalhaes (IRCAM) will explore several gesturally innovative collaborations featuring a solo string player. Collaborations between composer, Georges Aperghis and double-bassist, Uli Fusseneger, and between composer, Franck Bedrossian and cellist, Séverine Ballon will be featured and contrasted with historical models of collaboration.
The symposium will conclude with a roundtable discussion on gestural innovation and collaboration. Further information can be found here: