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News: Conferences

CfP: Performing Indeterminacy: An International Conference

Tuesday, September 27, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Marysol Quevedo
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Performing Indeterminacy: An International Conference Friday 30 June - Sunday 2 July 2017 School of Music, University of Leeds

With invited contributions from

Catherine Laws (Pianist and Senior Lecturer, University of York) Benjamin Piekut (Associate Professor, Cornell University) Christian Wolff (Composer, Professor of Music and Classics, Emeritus, Dartmouth College)

Call for Proposals

This international conference will address the performance of indeterminate and experimental musics as its central theme, and is intended as a forum for the exchange of perspectives from musicologists (in the broadest sense), performers, composers, and a wider audience. Including a performance of John Cage's Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1957-58) and the world premiere of a new work by Christian Wolff performed by Apartment House, the conference will comprise papers, practice-based contributions, and musical performances.

By fostering dialogue and debate about the performance of indeterminate music in its many manifestations, we aim to broaden understandings of a music which remains at the margins of performance studies, and to ask challenging questions about where the limits of performance lie.

Encouraging a broad and inclusive approach, we invite submissions that address a wide variety of topics, methodologies, and questions, including (but not limited to):

- Histories: what is the role of performance and/or performers in the histories of experimental musics?

- Praxis: is it possible to speak of an indeterminate 'performance practice'? Where do the exceptions and inconsistencies lie?

- Analysis: (how) can the performance of indeterminate music be analysed in ways appropriate to its particular modalities?

- Notation: what are the relationships between indeterminate notation and performance? 

- Socialities: in what ways does indeterminate music organise collective musical experience? 

- Pedagogies: how do we teach and learn about the performance of indeterminate music?

- Indeterminacy outside experimental music: how is indeterminacy in performance manifest more widely?

- Technologies: (in what ways) have technologies changed our relationship to indeterminacy in music?

Proposals are invited for:

- Spoken papers (20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of questions)

- Lecture-recitals (35 minutes followed by 10 minutes of questions)

- Performances of relevant works to be presented in a concert

Proposals of 250¬-300 words should be sent as a Word attachment to performingindeterminacy@leeds.ac.uk, should clearly indicate whether they are for a spoken paper, lecture recital, or performance, and must include the following: title, author(s), affiliation(s) (if any), email address for contact, and technical requirements. For lecture-recitals, please include programme details of any repertoire to be performed (details are excluded from the word count)


The deadline for proposals is Friday 2 December 2016 at midday (GMT). Decisions on proposals will be communicated by the end of January 2017.

Registration will open in February 2017. Information about the conference-accommodation, travel information, draft programme and so on-will be available on our website: https://conference.cageconcert.org/

It is hoped that some papers from the conference will contribute to a special themed journal issue, 'Performing Indeterminacy', guest-edited by the conference committee.

The conference is part of the research programme of the AHRC-funded project, 'John Cage and the Concert for Piano and Orchestra' and is organised by Prof. Philip Thomas and Dr Chris Melen (University of Huddersfield), Prof. Martin Iddon and Dr Emily Payne (University of Leeds).



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