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Seminars & Events
The Research Department regularly organises research seminars, symposia and other events. Please find below information on the current seminar series as well as on recent and forthcoming conferences and events.
Research Seminars take place on occasional Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 17.00 in the Lecture Theatre, Laban Building and are followed by drinks in the Laban Bar - all welcome!
The 2013-14 series commences with seminars by Trinity Laban's rececently appointed Readers:
Tuesday 5 November 2013
Prof John Irving (Trinity Laban)
Revisiting An Eighteenth-Century Conversation: filming Mozart's 'Kegelstatt' Trio
In 2012 John Irving made a documentary film with Ensemble DeNOTE about performance practice issues in Mozart's 'Kegelstatt' Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, K.498 (composed in 1784 for Mozart himself, his colleague Anton Stadler and his piano pupil Franziska von Jaquin). Among the issues discussed were the scaling of performance gestures and sound production in chamber music played on period instruments; performer creativity (especially improvised embellishment); and the relation of period instrument technology to Mozart's musical language.
This seminar will introduce the film documentary, including the preparatory stages, scripting and editing, and attempt a reflective assessment - one year on - of what it set out to achieve, touching inevitably on the question: 'So how would we do it differently next time?' The documentary will also be screened.
Tuesday 26 November 2013
Dr Sam Hayden (Trinity Laban)
Composer-performer collaboration and computer-generated notation: (pre)compositional strategies in Sam Hayden's 'surface / tension'(2012) for oboe and piano
'surface / tension' (2012) for solo oboe and piano was composed in a close performer-composer collaboration with Christopher Redgate, as part of his AHRC-funded project New Music for a New Oboe (see: http://21stcenturyoboe.com/New-Music-for-a-New-Oboe.php). The piece evolved from a dialectical relationship between the sonic possibilities inherent in new Redgate-Howarth oboe (an instrument developed specifically for the performance of contemporary repertoire) and computer-generated notation using IRCAM's OpenMusic. In particular, the underlying material for this piece was the product of two distinct (pre)compositional strategies, yielding two different kinds of 'found objects' which became the starting points for the piece: (a) the spectral analysis of multiphonics unique to the instrument was used to generate microtonal pitch fields; and (b) the algorithmic generation of artificial (inharmonic) spectra and complex rhythmical structures. As well as discussing (and demonstrating) the OM patches themselves, this paper will show how the collaborative process overall and the (pre)compositional strategies in particular, shaped directly both the notation of hyper-virtuosic material and approach to form, taking the piece in directions unanticipated by the composer. Much computer-music research has focused on aspects of digital sound synthesis. In this case, the composition of an entirely acoustic piece is nevertheless inseparable from computer-assisted compositional tools and new instruments. The use of such digital tools aids the creation of new musical ideas, sounds and modes of expression, beyond existing paradigms of musical culture. Such musical formalization creates a hyperawareness of the structural constraints within which one is working, and therefore the possibility to transcend them.
Tuesday 10 December 2013
Charles Linehan (Trinity Laban)
Charles Linehan's recent commissions include Dance Umbrella, Brighton Festival, Probe, and work for his own company of dancers. In this seminar, which introduces the speaker as the new Reader in Dance at Trinity Laban, he will show and discuss some of his own work in addition to that of some of his influences, which include Trisha Brown and choreographers working in the Central European tradition. Charles will also discuss the importance of lighting in his choreographic research process and work in general.
Dates for 2014:
Wednesday 8 January 2014
Dr Tomas McAuley (University of Indiana)
Tomas will speak on how earlier theories of rhythm came to be seen, in the early nineteenth century, as purported explanations for how music allows humans to access the Absolute, with a focus on changing conceptions of unity and variety in the writings of Sulzer, Kant, and Schelling.
Wednesday 29 January 2014
Dr Jonathan Owen Clark (Trinity Laban)
Aesthetics and Historicity
This paper concerns the intersection of art and aesthetics with what is termed 'historicity'- the ways in which human subjects have access to their own cultural and personal past. It will cover two ways in which this term is commonly understood in phenomenological history, namely both as the immanent sense of the past and present in first-person experience, and via the handing down of cultural narratives, which create layers and sedimentations that are handed across generations. We also suggest a third understanding of this term, provided through the historical survival of works of art and other artefacts. Drawing on the work of Alois Riegl, Jakob Burckhardt and Edmund Husserl, we define the role played in historicity by aesthetic 'cross-sections' of the past, which, it will be claimed, afford transhistorical linkages between 'subjective' and 'objective' historical experience.
Wednesday 19 February 2014
Prof Richard Wistreich (Royal Northern College of Music)
Music Books and Sociability
In The Order of Books, published in 1992, the French historian Roger Chartier pointed out that scholars risk misunderstanding the cultural function of early modern books by ignoring two interrelated aspects of the act of reading itself: first, that reading is an embodied practice and second, that at that time it was almost always a social one. Modern musicians, of course, know this still through their everyday experience: written music orders not just the sounds but also the interactions of most classical, and many other performers. And 'using the music' is a form of reading aloud of a particularly dynamic variety. This talk uses the evidence of sixteenth-century literature, pictures and notation, to throw light on the sociabilities that written music both enables and shapes.
Wednesday 23 April 2014
Dr Kate Wakeling (Trinity Laban)
"Returning to a new self": Transformation, memory and the 'virtual' self in older people's music and dance
This seminar outlines current research into Trinity Laban's 'Retired not Tired' programme, a dynamic and exploratory outreach scheme which offers creative dance and singing activities to older people. The seminar will discuss the possibilities and processes of transformation which the programme has initiated among participants. It will explore the means by which performance can 'actualise' potential memories in older participants, examining how and why this kind of expressive activity has been found to animate the idea of 'virtual' selves among the programme's participants with such intensity. Drawing together theoretical approaches in gerontology and performance studies, the seminar will consider how these expressive interactions might shed light on existing theories of 'actualisation' and 'becoming', while also offering a fresh alternative to the impact-driven studies so ubiquitous among research into older people's arts activities.
Thursday 22nd May 2014 (abstract to follow)
Prof Bojana Kunst (Justus Liebig-Universität Gießen)
May 2014 (date tbc, abstract to follow)
Prof David Kirsh (University of California, San Diego)
Symposium: Imagery and creativity in performing arts, 19 October 2012
One year ago Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and
Wayne McGregor|Random Dance
R-Research Department established a partnership to develop a joint
dance science research project to study the creative process in
Several experimental pilot studies at Trinity Laban have been conducted in the last year, discussions with staff and students organised, and a large grant application is in the early planning stage.
As part of the partnership, Trinity Laban and WM|RD co-hosted a one-day interdisciplinary seminar for invited guests only. The seminar: "Imagery and Creativity in Performing Arts: decision making, problem solving and breaking habits" took place at Trinity Laban in London on 19 October 2012. Drawing on a convergence of expertise in three scientific areas of research, the focus of the seminar drew on approaches in clinical psychology, sports psychology, cognitive and neuroscience where the study and applied use of imagery has progressed significantly in the last decade.
The aim was to seek synergy in comprehending methods and approaches that might help us to better study, understand and augment the connection between imagery and creativity, particularly in the context of dance-making. In order to optimise the opportunity for this synergy, we invited three experts to give a 30 minute presentation:
Dr Nichola Callow, Bangor University, Imagery and sport: Research from the repetitive;
Professor Emily Holmes and Dr Martina di Simplicio, University of Oxford, Feeling through the mind's eye; and
Professor Sophie Scott, University College London, Representations and images of the voice.
In addition to the three presentations, there were also small
group round table discussions and a final plenary.
Trinity Laban and Random Dance hope that this event is the start of a fruitful research exchange between the two partners and the dance community at large that will progress well into the future.
See also Trinity Laban News
Images: Paul Hampartsoumian
Presentation at Cognition Institute, University of Plymouth
As part of this ongoing research strand of the Trinity Laban partnership with Wayne McGregor|Random Dance, Tony Thatcher and Emma Redding were invited to give a presentation at the new Cognition Institute, University of Plymouth as part of the institute's first symposium on mental imagery and creativity on 20 March 2013. For event details please go here.
The aim of Tony and Emma's presentation was to share a choreographic process which incorporates touch and score in order to pose questions around that process in relation to existing reference on dance imagery. The Random Dance researchers Professor Jon May, School of Psychology at University of Plymouth, Phil Barnard (formerly at the Medical Institute for Cognition, Cambridge University) and Scott deLaHunta also participated in the Symposium.
Nancarrow in the 21st Century, 21 and 22 April
Southbank Centre / Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music
To mark the centenary of Conlon Nancarrow's birth, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance hosted a conference at London's Southbank Centre to coincide with Perfect Constructions: The Music of Conlon Nancarrow, a two-day festival. The theme of the conference was the exploration of contemporary practice and thinking in relation to Nancarrow's original ideas.
For details please visit the conference website.
Without Warning, 31 January to 11 February 2012
Without Warning is a piece of contemporary live theatre combining dance and live music inspired by Brian Keenan's compelling account of four and a half years in captivity.Following sell-out premier performances at Laban Theatre in November 2010, Without Warning Company is re-siting the work for two weeks at the Old Vic Tunnels. Read more about Without Warning.
Symposium: Passion, Pathways and Potential in Dance
A symposium in October 2011 presented the
findings of a major national research project into dance
Are you interested in training the dancers of tomorrow? Do you want to know more about dance talent development? Read more about Symposium: Passion, Pathways and Potential in Dance.
Research Student Showcases
April 2011 saw the first in a new series of annual events curated by and showcasing the work of Research Degree Programme Creative Practice students:
Performances, installations and an open discussion. Read more about PARALLAX 01.
PARALLAX 02 - Body Material
In September 2012 the second of these RDP student showcases took place. Read more about three students' visual art exhibition PARALLAX 02.
Banner image: Rachel Cherry