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Musical composition - process and product - as an artistic research project

Research project
Active research
Project owner
Academy of Music and Drama

Short description

Dissertation by Dan Alkenäs.
Musical activity can be fun, exciting, imaginative, personal. It can also carry traces of hierarchical structures, limiting traditions and expectations. When people participate in collaborative musical activities, many music traditions involve the distribution of work based on different role identities – such as composer, musicians and audience – which can influence how individuals relate to and experience the music. It can also be found that ritualized structures limit individual freedom.

In the PhD project, music-making is explored as an inclusive activity where actors contribute to the creation, and if – and how – collective processes in music-making can erase boundaries between tradition-bound role identities. The intention is to design an unfinished musical work, a framework where participants experience freedom and participation in their performance, and where individual creativity can be brought together into a group creativity in which all involved are active as co-composers and performers. The idea is for the framework to work as a guide, a map, of how a creation process can be organized and realized. As a metaphor I regard the framework as a warp, in which free creative wefts can be added, and from the synthesis of warp and weft form a weave of music.

In research on collaborative creative processes, problem areas have been identified about, for example, the music and body, coded voices, listening, structure, betweenness, the performer, and collaboration. Based on these among other problem areas, individual and collective expressions that may appear among participants by collaborative creative processes are explored. An ongoing sub-project includes collaboration with children in grade 4, where unexperienced expressions and forms are explored, and where all involved are co-composers, performers and audience.

Photo of Dan Alkenäs
Dan Alkenäs
Photo: Privat