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A cuore aperto

Research project
Pågående forskning
Project owner
Academy of Music and Drama

Short description

Dissertation by Mark Tatlow.
The goal of my doctoral research is to explore ways of addressing today’s societal and existential problems through the transformative power of eighteenth-century vocal music, presented live, by musicians who are intentional in their desire to move the audience to action and reflection.

My perspective is that of the performing musician, searching for an approach that enables both text and music to speak with historical veracity, and at the same time communicate the deep concerns of today’s world. I am investigating how the inbuilt flexibility of eighteenth-century vocal and instrumental performance practices can be used to reach today’s audiences, challenging the notion that eighteenth-century musical stories have little relevance today. As George the Poet said on BBC Radio 4 on 31 December 2019:

I would advise everyone to be bold in [their] authorship…
Your story is completely in your hands…
You should fight for that to the death…

My vision is to equip so-called "classical" musicians to be "bold in [our] authorship", to learn to see that our "story is completely in [our] hands", and to take up the challenge to "fight for that to the death". George the Poet’s drastic expression expresses a depth of personal commitment that redefines the notion of artistic excellence.

I am inspired by a number of wider issues raised during my career as a conductor, artistic director and teacher, but it is above all through the act of performing in front of an audience that I have come to realise how the practice of music, of "musicking" (the term coined by Christopher Small in his 1998 book of the same name), can become central to the life of a civilised society, and that it can contribute to the creation of social cohesion and harmony, tolerance and compassion.

Photo of Mark Tatlow
Mark Tatlow
Photo: Privat