Texts and Music

This section of the site contains texts of various kinds written by composers, performers and musicologists who are members of the Contemporary Music Group. While some of them will be scientific articles, many will represent and describe the work of composers and performers as a commentary on, or accompaniment to, their creative work. It is hoped that this will initiate a space for dialogue between those working in various areas of creative endeavour and reflection upon their activities.

Composition as Research

(Contribution to Round Table at the conference “Old is New: The Presence of the Past in the Music of the Present”, CESEM, Universidade Nova, Lisbon, 24-26 November 2016)

I have been following the debate on this subject since it first emerged, and have changed positions several times in relation to it. My initial reaction was very strongly that, “no, composition is not research, it's composition.” I see that kind of reaction too in Piers Hellawell's video on Youtube (see links below), which some of you may have seen, and his article, entitled “Treating Composers as Researchers is Bonkers”. My second reaction was, “well, it's research in a way, insofar as I discover things while writing a piece, or experiment with a particular combination of timbres, or make a huge advance in electroacoustics, etc.”. My third reaction was, “Should I care? If somebody thinks it's research, then who am I to argue?”. My fourth was a mixture of all these things complicated by the fact that composition as research has become, in the interim, an established fact in the Academy.

Hans Otte : Sound of Sounds

 A 10 de maio de 2010 recebi um email de um amigo com o assunto “Hans Otte”. Continha apenas a frase “Para o caso de não conheceres ...” e um anexo com o primeiro andamento de O Livro dos Sons de Hans Otte. Este foi o início de uma busca para conhecer a música e o homem por trás da música. Como pianista fiquei fascinada pela quietude da música hipnotizante de Hans Otte e desde aquele primeiro contacto senti que a sua música devia ser apresentada em Portugal pois, para minha surpresa, a música de Hans Otte ainda não era conhecida por muitos músicos e melómanos em Portugal.


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