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The 'essentially' feminine - new book out now!


The "essentially" feminine (Foto: Harald Nilsson)The ‘essentially’ feminine — a mapping through artistic practice of the feminine territory offered by Early Modern Music, is the somewhat complicated title of this book. But the content is not hard to understand a year into the #metoo-movement. It turns out that 400-year-old songs use the same rules as abusive men still do. Songs of love from a man to a woman in seventeenth-century England often contain patterns that today’s survivors of domestic violence recognise: to reject a ‘no,' accuse, threaten and question the loved one’s character. The researcher Katarina A Karlsson has read 755 songs from the time. Among the love songs from a man to a woman, more than half use these rules to varying degrees.

Is it possible to perform the songs at all? Katarina A Karlsson, who is also a singer and a writer, has worked with the songs together with musicians, singers, directors, costume designers and lighting designers. Photos document some of this scenic work.

Other authors include a psychologist, associate professor Ulf Axberg, a director, professor emerita Gunilla Gårdfeldt-Carlsson and the renowned expert in Early Modern English Music, professor Christopher R. Wilson from the University of Hull. The unique collaboration frames the English Lute Song through artistic research, psychology, musicology, and gender theory.

So what kind of feminine territory was offered through the early modern love song? A place where a woman would risk losing everything.

Publisher: Art Monitor
Foto: Harald Nilsson