Skip to main content
Photo: Marina Pereira Cyrino

An Inexplicable Hunger – flutist)body(flute (dis)encounters

Research project
Inactive research
Project owner
Academy of Music and Drama

CAPES Foundation, Brazil

Short description

Dissertation by Marina Pereira Cyrino, 2019.
An Inexplicable Hunger – flutist)body(flute (dis)encounters is a doctoral research in musical performance and interpretation, structured by singular encounters that happened between 2014 and 2018. Together with a series of collaborators, I have developed a critical and poetic methodology through what I call “mixture”, “contamination” and the practice of “un-goaling”, in which my practices as a flutist encounters the practices of other artists. It is a search for flexible modes of being a flutist, as a way of working around a dominant characteristic of Western musical practices: what I call a fragmented specialisation, or a specialised fragmentation.

The matter of expertise lies at the centre of the questions musicians have to face today: if the twentieth century called into question the notion of virtuosity, either by denying, violently, the craft of the artist, or even by denying art itself, or by multiplying virtuosities and adapting them to increasingly specialised contexts, still the division of roles perpetuates a norm inside music institutions. Meanwhile, in other artistic fields, mixture has become a fundamental practice.

Without being able to combine the different artistic practices that coexisted inside me, almost isolated, I searched for a way to tune out a certain being-flutist, an image-inside that has guided my practices so far. I imagined a mixture, a mixarts as a method of artistic investigation. Scramble. A mix, not a remix. I would mix the roles: interpretation, improvisation, composition. I would mix the spaces: concert hall, art gallery, underground cistern, backyard, mountain. I would mix “mine” with “yours” through co-creations. I would mix the flute with bottles, with tubes, with balloons, with lamps, with video, with plants, with aluminium foil. I would mix scores with drawings, with gardens, with angels. I would mix myself with strangeness. I would mix my body with a body-flute until it becomes a flutist- body-flute. A mixture inside the flutist-body-flute relation.

Photo: Bruno Figueiredo

Mixture as method grew out of my growing concern at being an expert at being an excerpt of myself. But the mixing did not happen in a random manner: it was guided by encounters. The mixture through co-creating sustained a time of instability and fragility that is the core of creative life. It called for a trusting, a groping, a mutual listening in mutation to enable the co-creating to bloom rather than to wither in a violent and empty unilateral rooting-out. It touched a rigid core that asphyxiates artistic practices: the anaesthesia of our vulnerability to the other as a living presence.

Academic research is beginning to incorporate research that is not only thought on music, but is lived and thought through music. But there are still ways to go in order to decentralise the logic of the finished artwork (as well as the hegemony of the big Surnames) and give space to the mediations that precede or follow the work, or all the different forms of practices that do not claim the status of an artwork in the modern sense of the term, names without dazzling brilliance, bodies-musicians who neither claim nor succumb to the position of the “stars”. There are still ways to go in order for the musician’s voice to bring academic knowledge production out of tune, contaminating it, in fierce joy, with chant, breath, drool and grunt.